Citing pandemic, Phillies cut more than 17 percent of full-time workforce

The Phillies informed employees Wednesday that the team has cut more than 80 full-time positions, according to an e-mail obtained by NBC Sports Philadelphia and The Athletic. Many were offered buyout packages while others were either laid off, had their positions eliminated or did not have their contracts renewed.

The exterior of Citizens Bank Park. (Brian Michael/Phillies Nation)

The cuts span multiple departments in both the business and baseball side of operations. Per the memo, the cuts reduced the Phillies’ full-time workforce by more than 17 percent. That subset of staff members gave more than 1,100 years of service to the team.

Back in September, The Athletic first reported that the team began offering non-baseball officials buyout packages. The Phillies cut seven members of their scouting staff, including Pete Mackanin and Dave Hollins, last month after their contracts were not renewed.

Many teams around the sport are looking to cut costs amid revenue shortfalls from the shortened 2020 season in which fans were not allowed to attend most games. Other big-market teams such as the Chicago Cubs laid off more than 100 employees. The San Francisco Giants cut 10 percent of its workforce earlier this offseason.

The New York Mets, led by new owner Steve Cohen, restored full pay after the previous regime instituted pandemic-related pay cuts. He even created a fund for seasonal Citi Field employees who were out of work during the 2020 season.

The team believes it has lost over $100 million in revenues from the shortened season with no fans. Revenues around the game in 2021 could mirror 2020 pending the COVID-19 vaccine’s availability to the general public. Meanwhile, MLB signed a lucrative television rights extension with TBS in September. Teams claim they are strapped for cash but when the pandemic is over and fans are passing through the gates again in all 30 markets, the money will flow the same way it did before the pandemic.

According to Forbes, managing partner John Middleton saw his net worth increase from $3.3 billion in April of 2020 to $3.4 billion in September of 2020.

Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Mets retained all employees. The team laid-off 25 employees in June.


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