While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to gain access to the rest of my work and allow me to keep writing posts like this one.
Major League Baseball is likely tired of all of the discussion about the working and living conditions of Minor League Baseball players, and the proof of that is in the latest rumor on the matter. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday that MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which runs MiLB, are discussing ways to increase player pay and improve the conditions they deal with.
There are a few things to keep in mind from the start here, and they should temper your enthusiasm for this as anything but MLB trying to get fans and media to stop looking behind the curtain. Harm reduction is great and all, but there remains work to be done.
This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.
Minor League Baseball players aren’t paid during spring training, and Major League Baseball would like to keep it that way for any of them that play in Arizona. The state has a minimum wage law, voted on by Arizona’s own citizens in 2016, that will increase the rate from the current $11 to $12 by 2020, and MLB wants an exemption for Minor League players in the state, in the same way they received an exemption from the federal government for minimum wage with the atrocious “Save America’s Pastime Act.”
Some background: MiLB’s players are already only paid during the regular season — not during spring training nor the MiLB postseason — and that pay is horrifically inadequate as is. Players are paid a minimum of $1,160 per month, which is the minimum wage rate for 40 hours of work per week, per month. The thing is, players are working more like 70 hours per week, don’t receive overtime pay, and are often responsible for paying for their own equipment in addition to housing and food costs. When the season ends, these same players have to get jobs outside of baseball in order to survive until the next paycheck comes in.