The San Fransisco Giants may join the Toronto Blue Jays in providing a viable wage to their minor leaguers.
It says something when teams are the ones stepping up to provide their players a higher wage. Currently, only the Toronto Blue Jays willingly pay all their minor league ballplayers more than the league-mandated minimum weekly salary. According to reports, the San Francisco Giants will soon be joining them.
As we already covered, the salaries of many minor league players don’t even provide for their necessities. But the fact that the situation is so bad that teams are choosing to raise their expenditures, without any performance returns, is astounding.
And the teams don’t stand to gain anything. It’s not about recruiting or retaining talent. Because of the MLB player draft rules and the size of developmental farm systems, these players don’t have any other options. They either play for the salary offered, or they don’t play at all.
The system is set up to take advantage of the little guys. Either give up on your dream or play for next to nothing. It’s a choice that the players shouldn’t have to make.
Since MLB teams were forced to pick up the salaries of players on their minor league affiliated teams, a lack of funds hasn’t been what’s holding this back. Penny pinching has.
If a lack of funds was the issue what would end up happening is that the salaries for the league’s top players, some of which are making 30 million a year, would come down. Redistributing some of those funds would be good for the league.
But that’s not what would happen. Teams would still pay for the top talent because that’s who wins World Series.
There are only two reasons MLB teams will start paying their minor league ballplayers more.
• The league makes them
• Public pressure makes them
So, what of the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays? Two teams trying to get ahead of the public relations backlash doesn’t change the facts. And the fact is that public pressure is the reason for these changes.
Rob Manfred would be smart to try and get ahead of this future scandal. But if recent events surrounding the Houston Astros are any indication, Manfred is MIA when it comes to public relations.