Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Collin McHugh received an advance on his salary ahead of the delayed 2020 season and will essentially be playing for "free." Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Some MLB players will play for 'free' amid coronavirus pandemic

We may have a greater understanding of why Boston Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh previously insisted it shouldn't be mandatory to play amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the agreement between owners and the MLB Players Association for a 60-game regular season that begins in July, union members will receive prorated salaries for the condensed campaign.

Per The Athletic's Evan Drellich, though, some players received an advance this spring that equals or was worth more than a prorated rate for 2020. While those players won't owe clubs refunds due to a fund shared by owners and the MLBPA, athletes such as McHugh essentially will play for free:

As Alex Speier of the Boston Globe explained, fans shouldn't feel too bad for any players in this circumstance for a season unlike any other. Contracts include incentives for inning pitches, home runs blasted, awards won, days on the active roster and other accomplishments. 

That means there remain financial reasons for plenty of players to suit up and head to ballparks this summer.  

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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