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Article: Minor League's Salary Structure Unfair?

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 11:01 PM

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#2 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:33 AM

Honestly, if teams went out of their way to house and feed these kids, I doubt there'd be too much going on, but at those rates (which I believe are the non-40 man rates), those kids aren't making enough to get by. I would think the teams woudl be very interested in housing and feeding of their prospects, just as I'd think the union would be behind this too. Given the lack of a seat at the table in the CBA process, I really don't see how MLB is going to win this one. The would be wise to settle and make some changes.

#3 SD Buhr

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:11 AM

Just to be clear, it's not the Twins that are arranging housing for their minor leaguers. Where the benefit exists, such as in CR, it's provided by the local club and their supporters, not the parent organization.

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:27 AM

I find it bizarre that teams don't invest in proper food for their most important assets. It is clear that minor leaguers are underpaid for their work, and I hope the plaintiffs win and take money from the greedy MLB players and owners.

#5 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:43 AM

It would be unfortunate if the players were compelled to arbitration or if this suit falls under an exemption. Quite frankly, the gentleman are being exploited for their desire to live a dream. A fair salary wouldn't hurt MLB's bottom line in the least.
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#6 Boda P

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:50 AM

Great article. This is not something those of us that follow baseball and the minor leagues think about. Are minor leaguers part of the major league union? If not, it seems the logical next step is for them to unionize. That would allow them to standarize the compensation for all players and allow them to negotiate for their fair share.

#7 Badsmerf

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 08:05 AM

Changes have to be made. These guys are right be filling this suit. Just giving these kids 50k would be plenty for them to get by and would hardly break the bank for MLB teams. That might create a little more accountability for roster spots in the minors too. I'm not a union guy, but the minor league guys are really getting the shaft.

#8 Mike Frasier Law

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 08:27 AM

Great article. This is not something those of us that follow baseball and the minor leagues think about. Are minor leaguers part of the major league union? If not, it seems the logical next step is for them to unionize. That would allow them to standarize the compensation for all players and allow them to negotiate for their fair share.


Players not on the 40 man roster are not represented by the union. If they were represented by the union, they could not have brought this suit - they would have had to have the fight in front of the National Labor Relations Board.

#9 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:14 AM

Great article. This is not something those of us that follow baseball and the minor leagues think about. Are minor leaguers part of the major league union? If not, it seems the logical next step is for them to unionize. That would allow them to standarize the compensation for all players and allow them to negotiate for their fair share.


This is a big part of the problem. They are 'represented' by the MLBPA, but they have no voting interest. They have no vote on the CBA at all. The MLBPA has clearly not represnted them well, and that's a big part of this problem.

#10 DJL44

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:58 AM

You and I are feeding the minor leaguers since so many of them qualify for food stamps.

#11 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:23 AM

You and I are feeding the minor leaguers since so many of them qualify for food stamps.


Sadly yes... and I would think that MLB would want to make sure their nutrition is well cared for. This is an odd way to treat an investment in my opinion. Guys like Buxton won't really have problems given their large signing bonuses, but guys drafted in the later rounds really don't have much to work with.

#12 Mike Frasier Law

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:47 AM

The article doesn't mention it, but the lawsuit names Bud Selig as an individual defendant. Under most circumstances, he would not be personally liable for the acts of the MLB. But the Fair Labor Standards Act defines "employer" very broadly, and courts have held owners, officers, and directors of companies individually liable if they were personally involved and in charge of the corporate conduct that violated the FLSA. Can you imagine Bud being on the hook personally for a multimillion dollar judgment?

#13 SD Buhr

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 11:21 AM

Can you imagine Bud being on the hook personally for a multimillion dollar judgment?


No I can't, but the thought does bring a smile to my face.
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#14 Sconnie

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 11:23 AM

This is a big part of the problem. They are 'represented' by the MLBPA, but they have no voting interest. They have no vote on the CBA at all. The MLBPA has clearly not represnted them well, and that's a big part of this problem.

That's just it, why would the MLBPA represent the non-voting members to the same extent they represent the voting members. Does it make sense to have 1 union for 2 distinct groups?

#15 SD Buhr

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 11:31 AM

The best minor leaguers generally got decent signing bonuses and expect to be Major Leaguers. The guys who need something like union protection would be in real danger of simply being released if they got involved with union organizing while in the minors.
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#16 Sssuperdave

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 02:12 PM

Can you imagine Bud being on the hook personally for a multimillion dollar judgment?


I would expect that MLB has a hefty D&O insurance policy that would prevent Bud from having to personally contribute very much.

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 02:16 PM

Can you imagine Bud being on the hook personally for a multimillion dollar judgment?


Sounds like a hell of an idea for a sitcom.

#18 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:46 PM

Just like the NCAA, MLB is sinking their own ship out of pure greed on this issue. As John points out, they have plenty of profit to invest and even a meager investment would likely do away with these issues for a long time.

#19 Steve Johnson

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 08:32 PM

Honestly, if teams went out of their way to house and feed these kids, I doubt there'd be too much going on, but at those rates (which I believe are the non-40 man rates), those kids aren't making enough to get by. I would think the teams woudl be very interested in housing and feeding of their prospects, just as I'd think the union would be behind this too. Given the lack of a seat at the table in the CBA process, I really don't see how MLB is going to win this one. The would be wise to settle and make some changes.


Er, no they wouldn't. The MLPA simply has no reason to care about those not in their membership (and these players are NOT members in any meaningful sense), even perspective or impending members.

I would argue that this lawsuit is incomplete and that the Major League's Player's Association should be enjoined as defendents and co-conspirators in limiting the amount of money available for amature signings and those in the minors who lack voting power within the Union. Afterall, the Players Unoin shaped and signed off on the CBs and have never visibly recognized or forwarded the cause of these types of players.

The Union is just as culpable and fines and remedies should be split.

Edited by Steve Johnson, 05 June 2014 - 08:35 PM.


#20 JB_Iowa

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:31 PM

This issue is gathering steam not just in the courts but in the court of public opinion ... which is often more effective.

Maybe they can shame mlb into that extra 1% at some point.

#21 Trevor0333

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:45 PM

This really bothers me, not because of the food stamp deal. I have 0 problem contributing to that for society in general.

This reminds me of bad business we see every day in our own employer's. Like letting the best talent slip away for lazy sub standard ones to save on payroll then spending 3X that budget on giant big screen monitors no one uses.

#22 glunn

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 01:09 AM

Moderator note -- this thread might veer somewhat into political debates. If that happens and anyone fails to follow TD policy (which requires being respectful even when you think that someone else is dead wrong), then we will issue an infraction and if you have any prior infractions, then you will receive a temporary ban from posting on TD.

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Edited by ashburyjohn, 06 June 2014 - 12:32 PM.
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#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 05:17 AM

This issue is gathering steam not just in the courts but in the court of public opinion ... which is often more effective.

Maybe they can shame mlb into that extra 1% at some point.


This lawsuit may be the beginning of exactly that.

#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:45 AM

This seems like such a logical thing to do that I'm continually amazed MLB hasn't done it of their own volition. This is their future product; you would think they'd have an interest in making sure that product eats well, has access to proper lodging facilities, etc.

#25 D. Hocking

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:59 AM

I am oversimplifying a little bit, but it kind of reminds me how the owners treated the players in the big leagues way back in the day. People like Comisky did not exactly overpay his players while he raked in the cash.

#26 mlhouse

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 02:00 PM

Here are the economic facts. If an employer does not pay a high enough salary they will have a labor shortage. Lets say you are an employer and you need 25 employees. You offer $1,100/month as a salary. You get (more than) 25 employees that are qualified for the job to agree to work for you.

If that is the case, you are paying enough. If you were not paying enough then you would have to increase the salary you offer to attract enough qualified employees.

This works the same way no matter what type of employees you are looking for. Minor league baseball does not have a labor shortage. In fact, since many minor league baseball players are involuntarily released each year they actually have a labor surplus. Therefore, any reasonable person would conclude that minor league baseball does not pay too little.

And, as other people have brought up, the arguments that their salaries are too low completely ignore the sizable signing bonuses that these players receive. For example, looking at the Twins Daily draft thread, the 10th round draft pick will receive a slotted signing bonus of $140,700. So, all of the overblown claims about how major league baseball doesn't care are just rhetoric that ignores reality.

#27 DJL44

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 02:41 PM

You get (more than) 25 employees that are qualified for the job to agree to work for you. If that is the case, you are paying enough.


Is baseball really getting all of the best athletes with the current system?

Also, there are labor laws to consider. Not every player gets a signing bonus.

#28 mlhouse

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:20 PM

Is baseball really getting all of the best athletes with the current system?

Also, there are labor laws to consider. Not every player gets a signing bonus.



The question of getting the best athletes is address in the signing bonuses and relative salary level of the major league system. A person does not decide at a young age to become a baseball player versus another sport based on the magnitude of the minor league salary.

And, it is very true that many minor league players do not get a signing bonus. Yet, they make the decision to play minor league baseball anyways. Maybe with a higher salary in the minors more players that are drafted would sign professional baseball contracts, but that is something that the franchises themselves need to measure. If they think that they are not getting enough talent to populate their minor league systems then they could increase their salaries or offer bonuses to players drafted outside of the slotted draft range.

#29 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:49 PM

When one entity sews up the entire Demand side, the "free market" ceases to function.

#30 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:01 PM

Here are the economic facts. If an employer does not pay a high enough salary they will have a labor shortage. Lets say you are an employer and you need 25 employees. You offer $1,100/month as a salary. You get (more than) 25 employees that are qualified for the job to agree to work for you.

...

...


welcome back, but would you agree that minor leaguer ought to at least be paid for all the hours they work, for example, spring training, etc.?