Nationals Owner Ted Lerner Reverses Course on Paying Minor-League Players After His Team Went Over His Head

Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner
Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner / Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals piggybacked on an unfortunately popular movement in MLB this week, as they decided to only pay their remaining minor leaguers a paltry $300 per week after cutting 30 others from their system. Following a very public flogging at the hands of their fans and players, Ted Lerner has since changed his mind.

The Nationals will instead pay their minor leaguers the full $400 stipend, per Britt Ghiroli and Emily Waldon.

For a guy with a net worth of $4.3 billion, the 94-year-old Lerner certainly seemed ambivalent about paying employees of his organization. It seems that Lerner's greed hasn't dulled with age.

This isn't the first example of teams backtracking following public outcry, as the Philadelphia 76ers did the same when they were planning massive salary reductions at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lerner and the Nationals might have tried to screw minor leaguers out of their paychecks, but at least they decided to reverse course, which can't be said of all teams trying to cut costs. Sean Doolittle and other Nationals players banded together on Sunday night to announce they'd be covering the small sum that was too much for ownership to bear, and apparently, that resonated with the higher-ups and got them to change course.

This is still a sign that public shaming could be enough to force teams to pony up with minor league paychecks.