Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Zulgad: Is MLB really making return about dollars and cents?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:27 PM
https://www.skornort...lars-and-cents/   The owners have made their proposal to the players. The players association will now have t...
Full topic ›

Recent Proposal

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 07:42 PM
https://theathletic....=freedailyemail   The players have rejected the owners last proposal, the players have proposed a longer seas...
Full topic ›

Reusse: Can Catchers be kept Safe during the outbreak?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 01:53 PM
 https://www.startrib...reak/570451492/     Patrick Reusse asks a legit question during this time... The key to any return...
Full topic ›

Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 01:33 PM
Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
Full topic ›

Devin Smeltzer Question & Answer

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:15 AM
Hey all,   We're hosting a free virtual Q&A session with Devin Smeltzer this coming Wednesday at 6 PM!   Hit this link to r...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs

Why an "Adopt A Minor Leaguer" Twitter Account is Completely Necessary - Part 1

In recent years the salaries and living conditions of minor league baseball (MiLB) players has been brought to the forefront of fans attention. Now, as the world is rocked by COVID-19, that issue is being magnified as teams reportedly are only paying players $400 per week during the shutdown.
Image courtesy of © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports


If your response to the opening paragraph is something along the lines of “they are playing a child's sport for a living” or “they chose this route” then I would challenge you to think of this issue from a humanity perspective and less of a financial perspective. The foundation of our country is based on freedom and pursuing your dreams, and as a child growing up you are urged by your role models to pursue those dreams. This article will show you how easy it would be for a billionaire sport owner to provide a livable, not exuberant, salary for the very players they rely on for the future of their franchise (and its bottomline).

Before we get into the number crunching, I want to take a second to promote an account (temporarily locked) and website that has already raised thousands to this very cause. What started as a small account run by a local Minnesota man has turned into a national, and likely, international venture as it was taken under the wing of More Than Baseballwhose mission is to “enhance and protect the game of baseball”, according to their website. This mission includes providing financial assistance to minor leaguers to enhance their basic needs like housing and food as well as the professional need for equipment and services to plan for “life after baseball”. I know times are tough right now, but in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, “when you can’t do what you do, you do what you can”. That is to say that, whether you can or cannot donate, nothing hinders you from sharing this article with your friends and family and bringing additional light to the issue at hand.

Okay, lets dig into the numbers and start with the current salary structure of MiLB players. These numbers were retrieved from an NBC Sports article and organized in a table by myself.




Attached Image: Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.22.30 PM.png

Of course, these figures don’t take into account possible signing bonuses of which some can be quite large for the top draft picks. Using data from Andrew Thares article on the 2019 Minnesota Twins Player Draft their top overall pick, Keoni Cavaco, received $4.05 million for signing with the Twins. He was just fine making $3,480 over the three month rookie ball season. But what about everyone else?

The Twins were able to sign 32 of their 41 draft picks in 2019. Of the 32 signees, 13 signed for $30,000 or less, three signed for $10,000, one signed for $5,000, and seven signed for $1,000. For reference, The three players who signed for $10,000 beat the 2019 poverty line by a mere $990, according to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). As a reminder, not that you need it, signing bonuses are a one-shot deal. So other than having some sort of seasonal/part-time job for the other seven to nine months (depending on their level) after the year they are drafted the salary is all they earn for their season. For players that are fortunate enough to receive a signing bonus in the hundreds of thousands, they better spend wisely as it takes most players four to six seasons to reach the major leagues if they make it at all, per Business Insider.

For more on this topic, I would encourage you to check out this twitter thread from five-year minor leaguer Tyler Cyr of the San Francisco Giants. For some top notch minor league baseball stories, some about living conditions, former Twins farmhand and St. Paul Saints pitcher Todd Van Steenselis an awesome follow.

What are your thoughts on minor league pay? Do they deserve more? Why or why not? Next week, we’ll look a little deeper into the owners pocketbooks and analyze what it would cost owners to provide a livable, not exuberant, wage.

MORE ON @ADOPTMILBPLAYER
Sports Illustrated article
The Athletic article
Pioneer Press article

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • MN_ExPat and Breekie18 like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

7 Comments

Minor league players are more important than the rest of our laid off workers.

Honestly, the wealthy MLB players union only gives lip service to other unions. They care less about minor league players.

Curt Flood fought for player's rights. Like wow. Its not like that reverbated to the other workers in our country. If your employer say the FBI tells you to go to another field office can you say no and get the media's attention? No.

This makes a good story. But, seriously there is going to be another 3 million jobless claims tomorrow.
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Apr 01 2020 09:55 AM

 

Minor league players are more important than the rest of our laid off workers.

If I implied this somewhere in my article then I apologize, but are they any less important then other laid off workers? Definitely not my intention to imply they are important nor my belief. Other than the opening paragraph mentioning the news that players will be paid $400, this article is about Minor League pay in general. Not specifically during COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This makes a good story. But, seriously there is going to be another 3 million jobless claims tomorrow.

You are absolutely correct there will be. Unfortunately, minor league baseball players (who are also humans with basic needs) are not allowed to be part of those jobless claims because they are under contract and being provided $400/week to live after not getting paid by their primary employer since September 2019. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this

The biggest issue I have with the system is they fall under the contract negotiated by the MLBPA, but they aren't eligible for membership. As others have said, MLBPA gives lip service to caring about minor leaguers. (They might be overstating their level of concern.)

I'm not sure what what their contracts say, but at a minimum they should be allowed to opt out of any reduction and become free agents. (It would really only affect a few, but it would be a deterence to the teams.) Most would probably accept the reduction in order to keep the medical.  

    • rdehring and Matthew Lenz like this

As for the $400 per week paid during this shutdown, have no problem with it.Most will be at home, and if like me spending nothing other than food.

 

But I agree that this is a problem that must be addressed for the overall health of the game.Nine of ten of these young kids should not be forced into poverty while chasing their dream.  

 

I would start with a few at the upper end of this group, those minor league players who are on the 40-man roster.Are they part of the union?If not, they should be.There is a minimum for rookies in major league ball.Why not a minimum for those kids once they were added to the 40-man, say 15% of the league minimum.With a $600,000 minimum, that would be $90,000 for a dozen or so who are mostly at AA or AAA. 

 

As for the majority, would think if they doubled the 2020 amount over the next few years, it would be fair.Seventy-five guys at another $10,000 and another seventy-five at $5,000 is what, $1,125,000.With current major league payrolls of $100-$200 million, that is less than one percent for most teams.Certainly something that needs to be addressed now that the conversation has begun.

    • Matthew Lenz likes this
Photo
John Bonnes
Apr 02 2020 10:08 AM

Here's the outrageous thing about the salaries: improving it to a more livable wage is a rounding error to MLB teams. 

 

8 minor league team * 25 man rosters is roughly 200 players. Say you wanted to bring them up to an average of $40K per year, or $20K for the six months of the season. That comes to an increase of about $10K per player, or $2M per year. That's less than a 1% increase against team revenues.

 

And the benefits of doing so would be real. How many players would be more willing to take a chance on a career for that minor investment? How many would stick around another year on their dream? How many would perform better without the distractions of worrying how the hell they get through the season on almost nothing?

 

It is truly penny-wise and pound-foolish the way MLB does this right now. This shutdown is just exacerbating a self-created problem.

    • DocBauer, jrod23, rdehring and 2 others like this
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Apr 02 2020 11:40 AM

 

As for the $400 per week paid during this shutdown, have no problem with it.Most will be at home, and if like me spending nothing other than food.

I feel like this makes a very big assumption that they can just go back to Mom and Dads house and have no expenses, which is true for some but not all. For starters, what about the international minor leaguers?

 

 

As for the majority, would think if they doubled the 2020 amount over the next few years, it would be fair.Seventy-five guys at another $10,000 and another seventy-five at $5,000 is what, $1,125,000.With current major league payrolls of $100-$200 million, that is less than one percent for most teams.Certainly something that needs to be addressed now that the conversation has begun.

You're spot on...one of the proposals that i'll have in part 2 would provide minor leaguers with a livable wage and cost owners less than $1,000,000.

Photo
Matthew Lenz
Apr 02 2020 12:15 PM

 

Here's the outrageous thing about the salaries: improving it to a more livable wage is a rounding error to MLB teams. 

 

8 minor league team * 25 man rosters is roughly 200 players. Say you wanted to bring them up to an average of $40K per year, or $20K for the six months of the season. That comes to an increase of about $10K per player, or $2M per year. That's less than a 1% increase against team revenues.

 

And the benefits of doing so would be real. How many players would be more willing to take a chance on a career for that minor investment? How many would stick around another year on their dream? How many would perform better without the distractions of worrying how the hell they get through the season on almost nothing?

 

It is truly penny-wise and pound-foolish the way MLB does this right now. This shutdown is just exacerbating a self-created problem.

You hit the nail on the head, John. It would cost owner such a miniscule amount compared to their revenue and, in theory, it would more than pay dividends providing the future of their franchise with enough money that all they need to worry about is baseball.

    • jrod23 and jamisea like this