MlB`s new „modernized player development system,“ as touted in the press release, now has 120 affiliated teams for the entire season — up from 160 in 2019 — spread across four levels: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A. Each franchise has signed a Professional Development League contract, an agreement that sets standards for facilities, amenities and working conditions for players and staff. For many franchises, this meant engaging in upgrades. The restructuring also focused on geographical alignment with the aim of reducing the travel times of the teams during the season. NEW YORK ( AP) — The major league minimum wage will rise to $570,500 next season, an increase of $7,000. It is assumed that a player has reached „one year“ of service in the Major Leagues if he has accumulated 172 days in a given year. After reaching six years in the Major League, a player is eligible for free agency at the end of that season (unless he has already signed a contract extension that covers one or more of his free agent seasons). Of course, this is not new. That`s how it`s always been. But what other business works that way? Teams tell their minor league players, „We`re going to need you to work and work for free for six or seven weeks before we pay you a salary.“ The same goes for big league players, but they have higher daily allowances and, of course, earn very healthy salaries during the season.
All players with at least three (but less than six) years of service in the Major League are eligible for salary arbitration, through which they can receive significant increases from the Major League minimum wage. In addition, each year, Major League Baseball identifies the group of players who finished the previous season with two to three years of service in the Major League and at least 86 days of service in the Major League that season, and designates the top 22% – in terms of service time – as referees. Those in the top 22 percent — the „Super Two“ players — are also eligible for salary arbitration, even if they`ve served less than three years in the major league. Under Major League Baseball`s collective agreement with the players` association, the minimum was $535,000 in 2017, $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 in 2019. MLB announced last February that it was increasing the minimum requirements for 2021 for minor league contracts from $290 per week to $400 for rookies and short seasons from $290 to $500 in Class A, from $350 to $600 for Double-A from $502 to $700 for Triple-A. Before we go any further, let`s make it clear that the numbers we`ve just listed are solely related to regular season minimum wages. Players, especially at the triple-A level, can earn more money for a variety of reasons. For example, the arrival on the list of 40 players comes with an automatic increase – players are immediately covered by the MLB-MLBPA collective agreement and earn $46,000 a year on their first MLB contract playing in the minors.
For a second MLB contract, the minimum increases to $93,000. Players who have signed minor league free agent contracts can make a lot more money. The minor league minimum for a player signing his first major league contract increases from $46,000 to $46,600 next season, and the minor league minimum for a player who signs a second or later contract in the major leagues increases from $91,800 to $93,000. In 1999, Baseball Almanac began preserving baseball history, the same year that the Major League Baseball Players` Association increased the minimum wage from $170,000 per year to $200,000 – a message that led us to create and continually update the following research: Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, MLB and the Players` Association have agreed on prorated salaries for 2020. The league grew from $563,500 to $208,704. And realistically, these wage increases still leave minor league players behind for (or less) the minimum wages prescribed in the United States. A weekly salary of $500 for a single player costs $12.50 per hour, based on a 40-hour week five days a week. But baseball players don`t just work five days a week or just eight hours a day.
Each week includes at least six days of games, seven of which include most weeks. The days are long, with weight training and conditioning work, fieldwork, cage work and travel – don`t forget bus rides – and it`s easy to envision work weeks of at least 60 hours. Now we`re down to $8.33 an hour. This is under minimum wage laws in 29 states and the District of Columbia. The G League minimum wage is still $7,000 per month, or $35,000 for a five-month season. There are 29 G League teams with 10 players per team. As with triple-A players, G League players can earn a lot more money based on various factors. Players on Team Ignite, elite prospects who are not yet eligible for the NBA Draft but don`t want to play college basketball, can win more than $500,000. The CBA sets a minimum wage for an AHL player for the 2021-2022 season at $52,000 for an 80-game schedule, with an $81 day on the street. The AHL roster consists of 23 players, 20 of whom are active per game. Due to the pandemic, that number has been traded at a minimum of $30,000 this season, but is expected to return to normal levels in the future. As with Triple-A and G League, experienced AHL players, guys with NHL experience and other mitigating factors can earn much more than the minimum (the league`s ABC specifically says there is no maximum).
Look, the increase was desperately needed. It`s been decades since minor league ball players have seen an increase close to this importance. I have often written on the subject. This is a solid and long-awaited step in the right direction. But the percentages don`t tell the whole story. Here are the minimum wages for each of these levels, as noted by the Associated Press. And it should be noted that these salaries are paid by the parent club, not by the owners of the minor league franchises. The Phillies gave Bryce Harper a 13-year, $13 million contract in February 2019, and they also pay their top outfielders an annual salary of $10,500.
Players, like Royce Clayton in the following quote, can be heard as they say, „It`s only part of the revenue. When they sell organizations for more than $300 million, that`s a lot of money and a lot of wealth that needs to be distributed. This is not greed. We are not trying to take more than what is in the pot. It`s in the pot, so we hand it out as if they feel every player is worth it. On the other hand, like Jerry Colangelo of the Arizona Diamonbacks, you hear owners say, „If wages keep going up and you don`t have incomes that stay close to the same, then you have problems, and here we are. I don`t think anyone can say that`s a healthy sign. There must be a change in the economic system.
That is simply clear. In 2018, when the NBA`s G League announced a sharp increase in the salary level of its players, we made a comparison. The G League is the highest (and only) official minor league in the NBA, so we compared these salary numbers to the triple-A minimum and hockey player minimums of the AHL, the best minor league affiliated with the NHL. Let`s go back to a few points. Given the amount of salaries, the addition of $4,410 to a single salary of $6,090 is a big increase. Probably. We should all be so happy to experience a similar increase in our salaries from time to time. MLB is moving in the right direction. I hope it will not stop because these salaries are still too low. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present an insightful picture of Major League Baseball salaries, including in red, the minimum wage set by the Major League Baseball Players` Association, and in green, the average salary paid to players during the regular season.
Major League Baseball and the Players` Association have agreed to increase prorated salaries in 2020 due to the shortened season of the coronavirus pandemic (60 games), lowering the Major League minimum from $563,500 to $208,704. The numbers were striking. Now, after the bump announced by MLB, let`s review that. These salary figures also don`t include signing bonuses for draft picks or international free agents, which can be important (although they`ve been tightened in recent years). Most minor leaguers, of course, don`t get into professional baseball with million-dollar signing bonuses. .