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Minor Leaguers Newsbeat

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

MLBPA donates $1 million to help minor leaguers

The Major League Baseball Players Trust — the charitable arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association — just announced that they have put up $1 million to aid minor leaguers.

Cardinals reliever Andrew Miller, who serves as a trustee for the Players Trust, released this statement:

“Major League Baseball Players are proud to support our fellow players in minor league baseball. These players have found themselves hit hard as a result of the pandemic and are unable to play the game we all love. The game is also their livelihood and there is no doubt the financial impact has been challenging. We hope to help them navigate these difficult times.”

Tony Clark said this:

“Like most Major Leaguers, I came up through the minor leagues and understand the challenges that exist. Players recognize their collective responsibility to leave the game better than they found it so that the next generation is empowered to do the same for the players who will follow them. Within the baseball community, minor leaguers have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and many of them will lose a season they will never get back. We will continue to seek ways to support them.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2020 at 04:08 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers

Friday, June 12, 2020

As Money Squabbles Delay M.L.B., Many Workers ‘Just Get Steam-Rolled’

David Carter, a professor of sports business at U.S.C.’s Marshall School of Business, said that while owners are indeed wealthy, they “aren’t necessarily liquid the way you or I might think a billionaire is.” Many owners are less concerned about yearly losses than they are with growing their team’s valuations so that they can net large profits from a later sale.

Fewer workers are needed with no games happening, of course, but Carter argued that owners — and major-league players — are not sympathetic figures in the current economic climate, with more than 20 million people unemployed in the United States.

“That’s probably been the single area where there’s been bad public relations, bad messaging and ownership of the issue with franchise owners that have not come across very strong because they are perceived as this really elite business crowd,” he said. “You have people who are relying on minimum wage and that job at the arena as their second position to help put food on the table, and now they’re getting cut back — but, ‘Wait a minute, you’re still C.E.O. of what company?’”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 12, 2020 at 04:57 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Minor leaguers, college players get creative to stay ready

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Andre Nnebe hollers over the breeze coming off the bay behind home plate and announces to the group, “First pitch, 2:10!”

The Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer thanks college catcher Eamonn Lance for showing up because now there can be live batting practice, something Nnebe hasn’t done since the coronavirus put a sudden halt on sports.

“You saved the day,” Nnebe tells Lance.

For this informal simulated game last week at a noted high school field, the catcher isn’t the only player wearing a mask. Nnebe stands in wearing a protective face covering, and same with the guy waiting in the on-deck circle.

Another piece for those curious about how current events affect players on levels other than MLB.


QLE Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, minor leaguers, players

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Shin-Soo Choo donating funds to Rangers minor leaguers

Rangers veteran Shin-Soo Choo is helping out financially strapped minor league players with the season on hold, giving $1,000 each to 191 of them who are in the Texas organization.

Choo, 37, said Wednesday that he remembers the financial struggles when he was in the minors. The outfielder-designated hitter hopes the gifts will help ease those worries for the current minor leaguers, most of whom he has never met, allowing them to stay focused on their baseball careers instead of having to figure out ways to make money.

“I’ve done it before, minor leagues, seven years,” said Choo, who was 18 when he left South Korea to join the Seattle Mariners organization before the 2001 season. “I know right now the minor league system is better than 15-20 years ago, but still tough. Everything’s very difficult, especially money-wise.”

Choo is now going into the final year of a $130 million, seven-year deal he signed as a free agent with the Rangers. He is set to be the highest-paid Texas player this season at $21 million.


QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, minor leaguers, rangers, shin-soo choo

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Major League Baseball to Pay MiLB Players Through May Amid COVID-19 Hiatus

Major League Baseball teams will continue to pay their minor league players through at least May 31 amid the suspension of play because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, all minor league players will receive $400 per week and medical benefits as part of the plan. Per Passan, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper noted that the pay represents a raise for lower minor league players, while veterans will make less than they otherwise would have.

Minor League Baseball officially suspended its seasons March 12 following Major League Baseball’s decision to do the same.

Two weeks ago, Major League Baseball announced its intention to pay minor league players through April 8, but with no immediate end in sight to the suspension of the season, the decision was made to extend the timeline.


QLE Posted: April 01, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, salaries

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Red Sox minor leaguer tests positive for virus, complex shut

BOSTON (AP) — A minor league player for the Boston Red Sox has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the team to close down its training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.

The Red Sox made the announcement Tuesday, a day after the positive diagnosis. The team didn’t identify the player, but said he was doing well.

Earlier this month, the New York Yankees said two of its minor leaguers had the virus. Those were the first two players affiliated with a big league organization known to test positive.

Major League Baseball has postponed opening day until at least mid-May because of the virus outbreak.


QLE Posted: March 25, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, minor leaguers, red sox, spring training

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Minor league advocacy group demands $15,000 salaries

A collection of former and current players have formed an advocacy group asking that Major League Baseball roughly double salaries in the minors to $15,000 per season.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers is led by Garrett Broshuis, a former pitcher and the lawyer who has represented players in lawsuits alleging minor league salaries violate minimum wage laws. The group said it “will strive to provide a collective voice for minor leaguers.”

The announcement was made amid a particularly tense week for minor league players, most of whom make $5,000-$10,000 per season. Many have been shut out of their spring training camps due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite their reliance on those complexes for food, training facilities and often housing.

“This past week really provided an example of why this group needed to be out there,” Broshuis said.


QLE Posted: March 21, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, salaries

Friday, March 20, 2020

MLB announces plans to pay minor leaguers through at least April 8

With the rest of spring training canceled and the start of the baseball season on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, Major League Baseball is taking steps to ease some of the financial pressure on its minor leaguers.

MLB announced a league-wide initiative on Thursday that will pay minor leaguers what they would have earned through April 8, the original start date of the minor league season.

According to a news release, MLB also “intends to continue working with all 30 clubs to identify additional ways to support those players” because of the delayed start of the 2020 regular season.


QLE Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, salary

Thursday, March 19, 2020

‘I’m Just Stuck’: Coronavirus Leaves Foreign Minor Leaguers Stranded

Donny Breek awoke in his room at the Minnesota Twins Player Development Academy around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a late hour that would have felt like a rare luxury just last week, when spring training was still on and early workouts were daily.

Now, camp is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. All of the Twins’ minor-league players have been sent home—all, that is, but Breek, who is from the Netherlands, and a handful of others. This tiny set of foreign players have been moved to the Twins’ Academy in Fort Myers, Fla. They cannot travel home; they are not able to hold workouts; they cannot play baseball. Instead, they do what they can to fill their days on their own.

On Wednesday, Breek showered and went down to the cafeteria for breakfast, where he could see his few teammates left in town. There are roughly a dozen of them: German, Russian, Venezuelan. The last Americans—a few who had been held back for injury rehab when the others were sent home last week—finally left this morning. The rest of the day? There are no team activities. There are no activities, period.

“I feel fine,” 20-year-old Breek says over the phone. “I’m just stuck. I can’t go anywhere.”


QLE Posted: March 19, 2020 at 01:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, foreign players, minor leaguers

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

‘Adopt a Minor Leaguer’ Program Gives Players a Lifeline as MLB Shuts Down

When Michael Rivers started the “Adopt a Minor Leaguer” program in February, he only planned to assist with food and cash over long seasons of low pay. Now, a month later, his work looks different—providing a lifeline to players who were sent home from camp amid a global pandemic, with no idea when they’ll receive their next paycheck, and no sense of when they’ll be allowed to return.

As the novel coronavirus outbreak has shut down baseball, MiLB players have been thrust into a difficult situation. They already face frustratingly low pay during the season and no pay at all during spring training. But now they’ve been ordered home—difficult in itself, for foreign players who worry about potential future travel restrictions—where they must remain in playing shape and figure out a way to pay their bills. With no idea of when they will be called back to camp, they can’t easily seek immediate work at home, and they can’t file for unemployment benefits while still under contract with their clubs. Teams have not stepped in to pay. So fans have answered with the ultimate modern solution: They’re crowdfunding. And, in a particularly unflattering statement on the quality of life in the minors, the crowdfunded efforts to pay players in a pandemic aren’t new. They’re the ones that already existed to pay players under previous conditions.

Rivers, 39, lives in Eagan, Minn., with his wife and two children. Before Adopt a Minor Leaguer, he had no previous involvement with baseball beyond his fandom (Twins), but after a painful winter, he was in search of anything to make him feel better. His father was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and learned that it had spread in January. In the days that followed, Rivers wanted to find a distraction. So he landed on Twitter, where he saw former Twins farmhand Todd van Steensel, now in indy ball, posting about the difficulties of his seven years in the minors.

“I started to see more about the truth about what minor leaguers don’t get paid, that they don’t get paid for spring training, and they get paid very little during the season,” says Rivers. “And at that point, I was like—giving always makes you feel better.”


QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, coronavirus, minor leaguers

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Minor-league baseball players don’t know what to do after coronavirus delays season

One of baseball’s most vulnerable communities has been put in an even worse position due to the coronavirus. Minor-league baseball players have been left scrambling after the start of the Minor League Baseball season was delayed due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.

The situation is pretty dire, according to Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal. It’s reached a point where some international prospects have left the United States to go home because they don’t have other options. As Diamond points out, those prospects could have a hard time getting back into the United States depending on what travel restrictions are in place.

Things aren’t much better for minor-league players staying in the country. As one agent told Diamond, “Minor-league guys are screwed.”

MiLB players don’t get paid until season starts
Issues surrounding minor-league players are plentiful, but the biggest problem they face revolves around pay. The vast majority of MiLB players do not receive a living wage. Sure, there are occasional outliers who receive multimillion-dollar bonuses, but those players are generally first-round picks. Those types of deals are not common.

As always, my apologies- the article cited is behind a pay-wall for me.



QLE Posted: March 17, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, minor leaguers

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Meet Peter Bayer, the Minor Leaguer Working for DoorDash During Baseball’s Coronavirus Suspension

On Thursday night, professional baseball player Peter Bayer made $62 in two hours. That’s more than the A’s have paid him since August.

Bayer is one of the 8,000 best baseball players in the world. But his workplace—and his paycheck—are still minor league. And since the coronavirus shut down his sport on Thursday, he isn’t getting paid at all.

So on Thursday, after MLB announced it was suspending spring training and postponing the start of the regular season, Bayer climbed into his white 2013 Mercedes C300 (which he bought with nearly 100,000 miles on it) and clicked on the DoorDash app. Then he began an evening of trudging into crowded restaurants to pick up delivery orders and deposit them with customers.

In attempting to protect players from the coronavirus, the league has made this player more likely to contract the coronavirus. The irony is not lost on Bayer.


QLE Posted: March 15, 2020 at 01:40 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, peter bayer

Friday, February 28, 2020

Agent highlights injustice of spring training for minor leaguers

On Wednesday evening, agent Joshua Kusnick…. tweeted about an injustice one of his clients, a minor league player, is facing at spring training. He wrote:

“Have an milb client who showed up 2 weeks ago
He isnt being paid because spring training didnt start for milb 10 dollars a day per diem.
They have a 1200 deposit for the hotel. The player. Making 6k a year.
Player has no choice in staying at hotel Pays own way to field!
No gas reimbursement. If player has a car he must stay at hotel
This is insanity. Someone has to change this”



QLE Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, spring training, the price of everything




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