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Friday, July 18, 2014

BP: Why are we playing the Hunger Games with minor leaguers?

Is this a good system? I don’t ask that question as an exercise in moral philosophy with the poor pitiable minor leaguers cast as a vulnerable group in need of protection. I’m asking this from the other side. Is it smart for teams in Major League Baseball to willfully pay their minor leaguers so little? Aside from cost-savings and the moralizing, could teams actually have more success developing players if they opened their wallets a little wider?

In addition to the points made in the article, a lot of minor leaguers have to supplement their income by working in the offseason at a job rather than working on their craft and potentially making a breakthrough. The assumptions used by the author seem reasonable, though I don’t know enough about minor league finances to know how pay works, or how players staying in the system longer would affect the number of players in the organization.

The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 07:32 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball prospectus, development, minors

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   1. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4753927)
Also, the article is on a Fox sports site, so it's free for all to read.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4753948)
I think that the minors do underpay their guys, but at the same time, considering how unlikely it is for anyone to ever make an impact at the major league level, and the minors are basically subsidized teams for the majors, there is some reason to keep their expenses down.

Of course if a player is a legitimate shot to maybe some day make the majors, then making him struggle in life early on might not be the best idea, at the same time, there are a lot of "older" players who are still playing because they can't give up on the dream or just enjoy it, even though they likely will never make the majors...So any overhauled pay system that is set up should be set to help the youth players get in shape, and concentrate on baseball, while encourage the older players to get out of the game.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4753951)
I do like the way the article tries to present the cost.... roughly speaking if each player in the minors had a 50,000 a year salary, it would cost the ML team 10.5 mil to cover that entire amount...Not an increase in what they are paying, but assuming they are paying the players currently zero now. That really isn't that big of a deal in the big picture point of view.

I also like that the article attempts to estimate a model in which they pay room and board for the players.

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