MiLB Applauds Salary Increase; Still Looks To Avoid Contraction
MiLB said that planned salary raises for its players in '21 paid by MLB "should not lead to contraction, and it has sent a proposal to MLB as part of negotiations for a new agreement between the levels," according to Jake Seiner of the AP. MiLB in a statement said it "fully supports MLB's decision to raise the pay rates for players" in affiliated MiLB, but added it "believes MLB can afford these salary increases without reducing the number of players" by 25%. Steiner noted the response from MiLB players to news of the wage increases was "largely positive." However, concern remains that the raises "may not be enough to help players fully address issues around housing, nutrition and training hours sacrificed in the offseason as they take on other jobs." Anxiety "also remains that the raises could be a precursor to a reduction in affiliates" (AP, 2/15). MLB Exec VP/Baseball Economics & Operations Morgan Sword said that minor leaguers "will receive pay bumps between" 38-72% beginning in '21. In Boston, Michael Silverman noted the timing of the raise "could not escape the shadow hanging over its contentious talks" with MiLB over a new Professional Baseball Agreement (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/15).
STILL SCRAPING BY: In N.Y., Bradford William Davis noted the raise to minor league player salaries "won't push most players past the poverty line," as it "only impacts the five months out of the year minor leaguers are paid." Players "aren't paid during Spring Training, either" and "most minor leaguers paid at their respective league's minimum annual salary won't extend beyond $15,400, assuming a 22-week full season" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/15). YAHOO SPORTS' Hannah Keyser wrote under the header, "Raising Minor League Pay Is A Start, But Wins MLB Little Goodwill." Keyser: "MLB was badly losing this public perception battle and they needed a new narrative, a win, as it were. ... Whether it's sufficient (it's not), it's a step in the right direction. It's the correct thing to do" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/14).
STANDING OUT: In S.F., Henry Schulman cited a source as saying that the Giants "have had internal discussions" about "unilaterally" raising the club's MiLB player salaries for the '20 season. Schulman noted it is "not clear how much of a boost Giants minor-leaguers would get" in '20 if the organization enacts the plan (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/16).