MLB and the Players Association are still trying to hammer out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday.
There are many, many points in which both sides are flat-out far from getting things done, including compensation for minor leaguers.
While major leaguers had a $570,500 minimum salary as of last year, payment for minor leaguers in entirely different, for worse.
According to a September 2021 report by ESPN’s Joon Lee, there was a salary increase for minor leaguers in 2021, but it’s still insufficient.
The league reportedly bumped salaries for minor leaguers 38 percent to 72 percent for the last season.
Fair Compensation For Minor Leaguers Should Be A Priority
Per Lee, weekly pay was between $290 and $400 for rookie and short-season levels, from $290 to $500 at Class A, from $350 to $600 at Double-A, and from $450 to $700 at Triple-A.
Minor league players are not machines: they have everyday lives, just as we all do, and money issues affect them.
Lee tells a few rough stories about minor leaguers’ problems in his article.
It’s just not right that owners are making millions and millions, and minor leaguers are struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and others because of financial issues.
At least MLB mandated all teams to cover minor leaguers’ housing, which was actually one of the biggest drains for their budget.
But living with such a low weekly wage (and not for the whole year, by the way) is not easy to pull off.
Why does MLB, a billionaire industry, pay minor leaguers so little when it clearly can offer a significant increase?
It’s beyond all of us.
Lee cited the MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, which stated that a person’s basic needs can’t be covered with anything less than $26,225 per year in the United States.
Well, minor leaguers made between $8,000 and $14,000 between April and October.
That’s dangerously close to living in poverty.
— markus (@mariners_markus) January 13, 2022
Yes, covering the housing was a necessary first step, but there are many additional things to do for minor leaguers to live decently.
There Is A Lot Of Work To Be Done
They are far from that denomination right now.
They usually get substantial signing bonuses, which help them cope for some time.
But, while some of them are of at least six numbers, most of the late-rounders get next to nothing, and these represent the majority of the players.
Those in the lower levels have long, hard days, trying to make their living, pay for expenses, bills, debt, rent, and other things with such a low salary.
There is a huge disparity between minor leaguers and MLB players, but there is an even larger one between minor leaguers and owners.
The idea should be achieving a dramatic salary increase for minor leaguers of all levels.
It must be hard to come from a small program, a high school, or even another country with a different language and not having enough money to live.
The minor league payment structure is just one of several things MLB will need to fix if there is going to be baseball this season.
BREAKING: In a survey of over 11,000 fans, @TheAthletic found "Minor League pay and living conditions" is the #1 problem that baseball fans care about.
Fans don’t want to root for exploitation machines.
It’s time for MLB to give Minor Leaguers a seat at the table. pic.twitter.com/uP8M2DP4G4
— Advocates for Minor Leaguers (@MiLBAdvocates) January 20, 2022
It’s just a necessary thing to do.