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Thread: Article: Minor League's Salary Structure Unfair?

  1. #21
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    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.

  2. #22
    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    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.

    You can say pretty much whatever you want on TD, so long as you are respectful of other points of view and follow the other precepts of TD policy, which are contained in a sticky thread at the top of the Questions About MinnCentric forum page. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

    http://twinsdaily.com/showthread.php...September-2013
    Last edited by ashburyjohn; 06-06-2014 at 01:32 PM. Reason: add link

  3. #23
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    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.

  4. #24
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #26
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    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.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
    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.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
    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.

  9. #29
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    When one entity sews up the entire Demand side, the "free market" ceases to function.

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  11. #30
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
    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.?

  12. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
    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.?

    No. THey have a choice. They can sign a professional baseball contract or do something else. If they do not feel they will be adequately compensated they can choose a different option. IF Major League Baseball did not pay enough to their minor league players then too many athletes would choose other options and they would not be able to field minor league operations.

    That is not the situation. So, there is no evidence that minor league baseball players are underpaid.

  13. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    When one entity sews up the entire Demand side, the "free market" ceases to function.
    Clearly, minor league baseball has not sewn up the entire labor market. A player is totally free to negotiate a signing bonus with the team, sign a professional baseball contract, or choose to go a different route with their lives, including for HS players a college baseball career.

  14. #33
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
    No. THey have a choice. They can sign a professional baseball contract or do something else. If they do not feel they will be adequately compensated they can choose a different option. IF Major League Baseball did not pay enough to their minor league players then too many athletes would choose other options and they would not be able to field minor league operations.

    That is not the situation. So, there is no evidence that minor league baseball players are underpaid.
    I certainly do not have a handle on baseball's anti-trust exemption or labor rules in this. Spring training pay might at least be a concession, in the end.

    Do you send your employees for training, and do you pay them for it? I'm sure there's a night and day difference between whatever business you are in (you don't have to say,) and Major League Baseball. But the argument I hear you making is essentially that if an employee doesn't like the fact that their employer won't pay them for annual training in their profession, he she can quit and go do something else. I could be wrong, but that doesn't sound like the law, to not pay for job training.

  15. #34
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    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.
    Food too. The only thing the MLB club provides is the salaries for the players and the field staff (Manager, Coaches, Trainers) and the $ to the ownership of the MiLB club that the Player Development Contract (between the MLB club and the MiLB club owners specify.) So fried chicken to feed 20 hungry kids and coaches might seem pitiful, if the Twins paid the bills, but I suspect that the food bills for the home games run about $1000 for these clubs and when you add those up and look at gate receipts and realize that plenty of those teams are barely making it (some of them are not breaking even,) then even fried chicken is a lot of $.

    This subject has been beaten to death. It is unfair and should change. Root cause? The MLB players' association. They do not negotiate humane salaries for the kids (and I can say that if Bonnes can) because they think that it might mean that their MLB minimum might be static for a while... Is there hope? I think that there is:

    - A certain commissioner is about to retire. I hope that a new kind-hearted person who has not been an owner (and preferably a used car dealer) before is selected.
    - There is a new trend there: MLB clubs are starting to buy their affiliates. 2 clubs (ATL and STL) own all of their affiliates, and each and every non-FL based team that is holding Spring Training in FL and has an FSL affiliate, other than the Twins, owns that affiliate (and that should probably happen in the future). The Twins own the DSL, GCL and Elizabethton teams. This has a whole bunch of advantages, one of which is better treatment for the kids. All it would take is for one enlightened owner to raise the MiLB kids' salaries to Burger King employee level, and the rest will snowball.

    Something needs to be done.
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  16. #35
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    The public is not aware of this. I explained everything to my father at a Kernals game and he was shocked at how little they were paid. And my estimates were apparently way too high. 1150/mo?

    It doesn't matter if people are willing to play for that. It is an unfair wage for the required number of hours. Part of the reason that players are willing to take it is that they have no other option to advance in pro baseball. If I had the talent I would have done it also but it's a pitiful wage.

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  18. #36
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Just because you retain choice in your employment options doesn't mean what is being done isn't illegal or a violation of fair employment practices. If "you chose to work there" was the type of excuse suggested here by mlhouse we wouldn't have lawsuits ranging from sexual harassment to discrimination because you "chose" to work at the place harassing you, etc.

    This work environment is being negotiated by a union with no representation for this part of the work force under anti-trust protection. Lawsuits like this are necessary to raise public awareness and rectify the wrongs.

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  20. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Just because you retain choice in your employment options doesn't mean what is being done isn't illegal or a violation of fair employment practices. If "you chose to work there" was the type of excuse suggested here by mlhouse we wouldn't have lawsuits ranging from sexual harassment to discrimination because you "chose" to work at the place harassing you, etc.

    This work environment is being negotiated by a union with no representation for this part of the work force under anti-trust protection. Lawsuits like this are necessary to raise public awareness and rectify the wrongs.

    I believe that the anti-trust exemption will trump any wage claims made by the minor league players. Baseball will argue that a professional athlete is exempt from overtime pay, that they are essentially salaried employees, and that the players, often represented by professional agents, agreed to the terms of their contract. The basic economic argument is that the unit of output of a player is not an "hour", but the game. Because of the anti-trust exemption this will be enough to prevail on the legal front.

    And, I totally agree with that position. Maybe the professional teams should provide more economic resources to the lower drafted players that do not receive any signing bonus to help them financially. But, in the end the teams are focusing millions of dollars on the players they best feel will help them in the future and that the marginal players maketheir ouw choices to pursue a professional baseball career. Fair or not, it is an economically rational approach.

  21. #38
    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
    So, all of the overblown claims about how major league baseball doesn't care are just rhetoric that ignores reality.
    Well, it's clear you've done your homework. So you can probably answer the following questions with similar assurance:

    1) What percentage of the minor leaguers' have received substantial (plus 100k) signing bonuses? More over, the career of an average minor leaguer results in how many years? And if we pro-rate that bonus over those years and combine it with their paid wage do we indeed get that living wage?

    2) Do you discount the local benefit of more living wages within local communities? Why burden local families when empty apartments and homes could be filled on a consistent basis, year after year? (And more whatever consumer benefit each individual adds.) That's straight liquid dollars in often struggling communities.

    3) Do you think the notions of labor shortage\surplus change when there's industry wide collusion (there's only competition for top level talent (the signing bonus babies), it takes so many more players to field a team, for whom there is no bonus)? Do you think the union favors contracts that pay a great deal to a few or spreading wealth to as many players as possible? Which method makes more social economic sense, and which makes specific individuals (agents, elite players, owners, executives) more money?

    4) If the economic conditions dictate that another human being must live with a host family to pursue a career in ticketed entertainment (baseball, or such), is such entertainment (or wage) ethical in a civilized society?
    Last edited by PseudoSABR; 06-07-2014 at 02:13 AM.

  22. #39
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    I do think conditions should be better for minor leaguers in general, based on the profits being made by MLB. Not because they are required to do so, but just in keeping with the interests of the sport and those that play it.

    Having said that, playing in the minors is not the same as most lines of work. The average tenure is pretty short... for the overwhelming majority of players that sign a pro contract, baseball is not a career (at least as a player). It's sort of like an extended internship or apprenticeship.

    Professional sports are unique in many respects, and employment considerations should take that into account.

  23. #40
    I understand if this is similar to an internship, but when I was the age of some of these players I couldn't afford to work an internship--even if it was paid at this salary. I had to wait until I was in my 30s to be able to work an internship to change careers. My point is, these players don't have that option--they have to play when they are young--and I'm sure that many of them feel guilty for the years of support their parents have given them so they may not ask for more help. Twenty dollars a day for EST isn't okay, just like asking these players to give up their dream because there's no immediate payout isn't okay. My shot at my dream career was shut down at an early age because of finances and it took a long time before I could afford to quit my job to pursue my dream career on my own, so I get why these young men are out there. I find it pretty despicable that any one would (anonymously) discourage or shame these guys for their decision to try to live out their dream. MLB is a big business that can afford to spend a small percentage to increase the salaries of their minor league players, so why argue against something that wouldn't make a dent in the profit margin? Better yet, I would love to see anyone arguing against a salary increase live off of what these players make....you wouldn't last one pay period. On our high horses it's easy to dismiss the hardship, but perhaps we should all humble ourselves and think back to a time when we worked as hard as they do.

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