MLB’s new MiLB minimum salary is step in the right direction. But it still falls far short of what the players deserve. Here’s why.
The plight of MiLB players has been well documented, even if it’s been routinely ignored. Books like John Feinstein’s: Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball have highlighted the plight of many of these ballplayers simply trying to live out their dream of making it to the MLB.
From not being able to afford to replace their gear to living out of a school bus the struggle for these players is real. The raising of the minimum salary for these players is a small step in the right direction. If an extremely small step.
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The minimum weekly salary increases, which will take effect in 2021, breaks down as follows:
- Rookie and Short Season ballplayers went from $290 to $400
- Class A ballplayers went from $290 to $500
- Double-A ballplayers went from $350 to $600
- Triple-A ballplayers went from $502 to $700
Of course, these players only get paid during the time they play. So, players that last all five months on a Triple-A team will earn at least $14,000. For short-season players three-month seasons, they will earn $4,800.
For players putting in up to 12-hours a day and traveling nonstop, it’s a meager salary. MLB lobbied Congress for years to exempt minor league players from minimum wage laws and won. It’s a system stacked against the little guys.
During the offseason, these players are relegated to working as much as they can, just so they can afford to make it through the next season without going broke. Many players can’t make it. Not because they aren’t good enough ballplayers, but because they can’t earn enough to make it through the next season.
The salary raises are a step in the right direction. They just don’t go far enough.
MiLB players don’t need to be getting rich, but they should at least be making a living wage.
Asking the multibillion-dollar industry to fork out minimum wage salaries for its developmental players shouldn’t be a tough ask. But it is.
Trying to reduce costs further Rob Manfred and MLB proposed cutting 42 of the 160-team affiliated minor league teams. Never mind that it’s these teams that build baseball roots around the country.
Baseball has the best developmental system of all professional sports. And in response to trying to get its members MINIMUM WAGE, the response was to attempt to gut the system.
Die-hard and casual baseball fans alike love minor league baseball. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were watching minor league baseball players that didn’t have holes in their gloves and a room to sleep in at night?