The league and the players continue to discuss and negotiate the things that they can in this time of uncertainty. No one can know when baseball will actually return, so almost everything is all a hypothetical right now.
Here’s one semi-firm thing that’s been decided, though:
MLB and the union agree to have all players on non-guaranteed contracts receiving 45 days of termination pay if they don't make 40-man roster. Clubs will have a deadline of 1 day before the anticipated start of the season; and 5 days before the season on retention bonus decisions
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 21, 2020
That’s referring to a couple categories of players: (1) arbitration-level players, whose contracts are not fully-guaranteed (you always had the ability to release a player in Spring Training for 30 or 45 days termination pay, depending on when you cut); and (2) veterans in camp on minor league deals whose contracts include a retention bonus, which is owed to the player if you’re going to keep them and start them in the minor leagues.
So what this decision is saying is that arbitration-level players can still be released before the season starts, but they will get 45 days termination pay no matter when you release them. Of course, what “45 days termination pay” means when the season is necessarily going to be shrunk is something that remains to be seen. Tentatively, at the moment, I’m expecting all salaries (and termination payments, for example) to be prorated to the length of whatever season MLB is able to pull off.
As for the veterans on minor league deals, it’s just a default that these guys – think Jason Kipnis types – have a clause in their minor league deals that requires their team to pay them a retention bonus ($100,000 or so) if they are going to actually have them start the season in the minor leagues. Teams will have to decide five days before the new season begins whether they’re going to pay that money, so you can expect a whole lot of veterans on minor league deals to be released around five days before the new seasons starts.