Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
One National League official predicts a large number of scouts across Major League Baseball won’t be brought back after the draft in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the anonymous official said he would “bet 40 percent of those let go never get back in baseball again.”
The executive’s prediction comes as more teams have been transitioning to video scouting in recent years.
One of the earliest indications of the change came in 2017 when Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow confirmed the organization wouldn’t be renewing the contracts of at least eight scouts.
Luhnow noted at the time that the “overall number of people in the scouting departments are going to be roughly the same.”
“I’m really, really concerned,” former Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. “I’m very concerned about where it’s going.”
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported last month MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will suspend Uniform Employee Contracts, giving teams the right to furlough employees or reduce their pay if they choose to do so.
Olney noted some MLB employees are concerned organizations will use the league’s shutdown during the pandemic “as a way to reduce organizational costs.”
The 2020 MLB regular season was scheduled to start March 26, but the league announced two weeks earlier that games would be postponed for the time being.