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Article: How much hardship do minor leaguers experience?

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:56 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...uers-experience

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:04 PM

I believe the pay goes up as players move up... Veteran AAA types can do OK, but there is a reason that many of them jump at the opportunity to play Winter Ball. I talked to someone once about the 40 man roster. If a player is added to the 40 man roster, their minor league pay jumps nearly 8 times then first year, then a little more if they're on the 40 man roster the second year, and so on. But even a AA player generally only makes about $1,500 a month. It is absolutely ridiculous, if you ask me.

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

I think that it all is relative. Compared to MLB salaries (like Butera making $400+ K each of the last 2 seasons, why?) early MiLB salaries are indeed very low (close to minimum wage). On the other hand, compared to trade apprentices or even graduate school stipends, there are at the same level. Plus most of the MiLB teams do operate on a loss (usually off-set by the parent club) or barely make it even. Another thing to consider in the equation is the signing bonuses. Most minor leaguers got signing bonuses. Few other entry-level jobs that this happens out there. So I think compared to MLB, yes they are grossly underpaid (or rather players like Drew Butera are grossly overpaid) but compared to the rest of the jobs out there, they are just about right... plus way more fun to do as a job than many :)
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#4 Highabove

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:30 PM

An Independent League player has a good chance of getting signed if he can dominate and is still young. The Twins purchased pitcher Caleb Thielbar from the Saints last year. He is playing in Ft. Myers.

Edited by Highabove, 07 April 2012 - 03:41 PM.


#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

Thrylos, I'll agree that when the signing bonus is factored in, it may be more equitable to real life. Those drafted in the first round get a million, and it drops from there. Most players that get taken after the 10th round get hardly any signing bonus, so I'm not sure that helps most.

#6 whydidnt

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:01 PM

I don't know, when you consider that most of these guys, especially in the low minors are only 18-22 years old, I don't consider the pay that out of line. How much do other non-college grads make in their first few years of work out of high school? As they get older they are making an informed decision that the potential long term reward is worth the short term suffering, like many end up doing in their careers. It's just that in baseball the potential reward is many times greater than most of us will ever realize. No one is forcing any of the guys to pursue the dream, if they feel there is a more rewarding career path out there, they are welcome to pursue it.

#7 Thrylos

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:04 PM

ok. This actually has more information. Apparently there is a cap but only for the 1st year of a players MiLB career and that depends on the level he plays. Subsequent year salaries are subject to negotiation and AAA salaries (according to that write up with 2011 data) are around $35K for the 25th percentile to $68K for the 75th percentile. That excudes situations like Nishoka's, Lannon's, Marquis', Slowey's etc... so $50K or so median for a half year worth of work is not that bad is you look at the big picture of things
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#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:21 PM

AAA and 40 man roster salaries look nice. Minor League F/A salaries look good... But how about a player spending six years in the minors and only getting to Hi-A or AA? Maybe they can negotiate to go beyond the $1,050 per month, but they don't have much power in that negotiation. The sad thing was that the foreign players could be paid as little as $300 a month!! Wow!

#9 Thrylos

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

The sad thing was that the foreign players could be paid as little as $300 a month!! Wow!


Yeah and I bet that's borderline illegal (less pay for the same work). on the other hand, $300 a month is way much more than what a family of 4 lives on in the Dominican
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#10 jimbo92107

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:58 PM

Let's see...bank teller and cab driver were the first two jobs I tried out of high school. Neither paid squat, but I was lucky - my roommate sold pot to help make rent. Hey, Ramen is good food!

#11 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:38 PM

Let's see...bank teller and cab driver were the first two jobs I tried out of high school. Neither paid squat, but I was lucky - my roommate sold pot to help make rent.


I don't take many cabs but this seems like the profile of most of the bank tellers I encounter lately.

#12 60ft6in

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:33 PM

A low level minor league player makes roughly $1100 to $1300 per month when assigned to a team. So during spring training, extended spring training or Instructs they make nothing! So below A ball you work for hotel food and a place to sleep for 3 1/2 months, play GCL or E-Town from June to Aug and make their pay then get nothing the rest of the year. If you make a long season team you get paid from April to Aug but now pay everything yourself. Playing minor league ball is about the opportunity. Dont fool yourself that its about the money! A minor league player makes below minimum wage and is below poverty. Most are helped by their parents! Those signing bonuses for the high rounds help but how many are getting those...? Comparing it to an apprenticeship in any other profession I know of its not even close!

#13 whydidnt

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

Question for those in the know. Do minor league players receive any sort of per diem for meals/expenses when on the road? If so, how much? I know major leagues get a pretty nice one, and assume that minor leaguers get something, though it's probably more in line with the IRS recommendations for the city traveled.

#14 jeffk

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:07 AM

This is a microcosm of the world at large. The major league players are making too much and the minor league players too little. Take an above-average but not phenomenal player like Cuddyer. If he made a cool $5M a year instead of $10M, you could give a substantial raise to every minor league player in the Colorado minor league system. I guess it would be a matter of changing various negotiating rules, or having major league salary caps, to make this happen.

#15 Thrylos

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

Question for those in the know. Do minor league players receive any sort of per diem for meals/expenses when on the road? If so, how much? I know major leagues get a pretty nice one, and assume that minor leaguers get something, though it's probably more in line with the IRS recommendations for the city traveled.


$25 was $20 till a few years ago. Plus free hotel (shared) room
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#16 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:42 PM

minimum of 67K annually for a player with one day of MLB service is pretty nice. You see why a guy can stick out into his 30s as a AAA type vet if he got that day in early on. It's like many jobs....pay your dues in the low minors & get a fairly desent payday if you can move up. Starting jobs often start at low wages & then improve with experience. Look at Sean Burroughs....pretty good paying gig after coming off 3-4 yrs of despair & he was able to make it back up to get a half million $$ job.

Edited by greengoblinrulz, 08 April 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#17 Jeff P

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:19 PM

The thing with most occupations is that they weed you out quickly if you are not going to make it. Here it takes many years and the chances of making it are very low. I don't feel sorry for the players, they are adults making their own decisions and the upside for those who do make it is incredible. However I do have a lot of respect for them because of the sacrifices they are making to follow their dreams. I don't think I could have done it even if I had the talent to give it a try. By the way, re AAA, my understanding is that if you are not a minor league free agent or on the 40 man, the pay is still really low. Our neighbors son was making 2200 per month last year at AAA according to the dad.

#18 Thrylos

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:39 PM

By the way, re AAA, my understanding is that if you are not a minor league free agent or on the 40 man, the pay is still really low. Our neighbors son was making 2200 per month last year at AAA according to the dad.


I gave the figures of AAA pay and the reference that had it. Median is around $50K. Not that your neighbour's kid could not be making $2200 a month, esp if that $2200 a month are net pay after taxes, insurance etc. and he just got promoted and has only 2-3 years in pro ball.
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#19 Madre Dos

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

I believe the pay goes up as players move up... Veteran AAA types can do OK, but there is a reason that many of them jump at the opportunity to play Winter Ball. I talked to someone once about the 40 man roster. If a player is added to the 40 man roster, their minor league pay jumps nearly 8 times then first year, then a little more if they're on the 40 man roster the second year, and so on. But even a AA player generally only makes about $1,500 a month. It is absolutely ridiculous, if you ask me.


I know what short season A kids go through - I am one of the host moms. I get a little less than half of their take home pay and it doesn't even cover the grocery bill to feed them. I host mostly Latin kids and several of them are trying to send money home to parents and wives to help out. Playing 68 games in 71 days is grueling - with the amount of hours at the field and at the gym and the bus rides to away games, the kids are making way less than minimum wage.

#20 baseballoz

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 08:46 PM

Minor league is tough for young players, especially those from outside the USA. These kids get put on a plane at 18 and have to make it in a world so vastly different from their own. Even if they come from an English speaking country, America has a completely different culture. Taking them away from their families and having to live with players they don't know and may not speak the same language as can be isolating, add to that the lack of money. Spring training is a love job as they don't get paid; they still have food to buy accommodation to pay for. We know of an international who worked from the day he arrived back home in the off season until the day he flew back to spring training just to get him through the year ahead. That makes it a very long year.
There may be great rewards if you make it, but if you don’t, what other job do you come away from after 5 years as an apprentice, trained for nothing? This is what faces these boys, being 25 and having no backup. Would they change anything? I doubt it. I know not all players go through each level of the minor league system, but a lot do and when, and if they finally make it to the show, they are very grateful. They are living every kid’s dream if only for a few years.

#21 whydidnt

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

We know of an international who worked from the day he arrived back home in the off season until the day he flew back to spring training just to get him through the year ahead. That makes it a very long year.

I don't disagree with most of what you say, but seriously, having to work year round makes for a long year? Uh, isn't that what a majority of adults do, work year round? Most college kids I know go to school full time while maintaining a PT Job, and then working FT in the summer to pay for next years tuition. Sorry, but I don't feel sorry for any of these guys for having to work in the offseason, the rest of us have to work 12 mos. a year, being a baseball player shouldn't exempt you.

#22 Astro1980

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:45 AM

$25 was $20 till a few years ago. Plus free hotel (shared) room



Players are required to pay $11 of the $20 PD ($25 in AAA only) to the traveling clubhouse for laundry, spread, etc. That leaves $9 dollars for 2 meals per day. Also encouraged to tip clubbies based on the quality of the experience. Tax deductable as a business expense ...