Teams face replacement pay deadline

April 01, 1995|By Buster Olney

Besides the prospect of playing in a major-league ballpark or creating space for themselves in the Baseball Encyclopedia, the primary draw for the replacement players was money. Lots of quick cash.

Now they may never get the big payoff, because owners may postpone or even cancel the replacement games. Going ahead with replacements could cost some teams at least $960,000.

Each replacement player receives a $5,000 signing bonus, payable April 16. Many teams have already signed all or most of their replacement players, so that money is gone. Other teams may wait up until 6 p.m. tomorrow, the time they are to file their Opening Day rosters with Major League Baseball.

At that time, each replacement player is to receive another $5,000 bonus, payable May 1, for making the Opening Day roster, and they are guaranteed a $20,000 severance package. All told, teams will have $30,000 invested in each of their 32 replacement players.

Most replacements are paid the minimum salary of $115,000, an average of $628.42 per day. In addition, replacement players are eligible for a benefit and pension package similar to that paid minor-leaguers.

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