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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Yahoo Sports Braves’ Sean Kazmar Jr. makes it back to MLB after 12 years in minor league


Nearly every baseball player on Earth would be happy to have an MLB career spanning 12 years. Sean Kazmar Jr. did it the hard way.

Kazmar, who is currently 36 years old, made his Atlanta Braves debut on Saturday, appearing as a pinch hitter against the Chicago Cubs. It was his first appearance in the majors since Sept. 23, 2008, when he was a San Diego Padres rookie.

That adds up to 12 years, six months and 25 days between MLB appearances.

In the decade-plus in between, Kazmar played in the minor league systems of the Padres, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Braves. For the last eight years, he has played for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. Primarily a second baseman for his career, Kazmar has hit .263/.311/.369 in his Triple-A career.

There are very few baseball players willing to stick it out that long in the minors, where pay and facilities are abysmal. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Kazmar did it not only because of an obvious love of the game, but because he wanted his kids to see him in an MLB uniform and believed that day would come. And now it has, thanks to the Braves’ need for infield depth and a supernova performance in spring training.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said giving Kazmar the call to the big leagues was “probably one of the greatest moments I’ve had as a manager at all levels.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 18, 2021 at 11:46 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sean kazmar

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 19, 2021 at 12:21 AM (#6014211)
Cool story. And 12 years later, he's still a rookie!
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: April 19, 2021 at 07:14 AM (#6014217)
Braves’ Sean Kazmar Jr. makes it back to MLB after 12 years in minor league


League, singular? You mean, there's only one minor league left now...?
   3. JJ1986 Posted: April 19, 2021 at 07:50 AM (#6014221)
Is Kazmar one of the longest-tenured Braves if you count by first date with the organization? It seems crazy to me how long he's been with one minor league club.
   4. Traderdave Posted: April 19, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6014227)
Anyone have an idea what a long term AAA player's salary is?
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2021 at 09:48 AM (#6014228)
Anyone have an idea what a long term AAA player's salary is?

I've read that the AAAA types that bounce back and forth do pretty well, as much as $100,000 p.a. Kazmar doesn't seem to be quite that good though.
   6. The Duke Posted: April 19, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6014229)
One day on an MLB roster gets him lifetime medical and about a $40k pension at age 62. I’m not sure those benefits existed 12 years ago
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 19, 2021 at 09:58 AM (#6014231)
MLB announced this year that the standard AAA salary went up this year to $700/week. Veteran guys can sign split level deals for more though.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 19, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#6014236)
One day on an MLB roster gets him lifetime medical and about a $40k pension at age 62. I’m not sure those benefits existed 12 years ago

There are some random internet claims that one day is lifetime medical, but neither of these claims pass the smell test.

Here is a video from a guy (with 18 career MLB games) who says it isn't true, and a commenter says you are eligible for MLB health plan on day 1, but not lifetime medical.

https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/f7s300/matt_antonelli_1_day_in_mlb_lifetime_health/

Older references say you need 43 days to get a $34k pension.

Of course, all these numbers depend on when you elect to draw on the pension.

If there are any recent actual pension documents on line, I'd love to see them.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: April 19, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6014252)
other 2008 Padres of note:

a young Adrian Gonzalez
Brian Giles
MLBPA boss Tony Clark
Jim Edmonds (!)
Greg Maddux (!)
Trevor Hoffman
Randy Wolf
Glendon Rusch
   10. Itchy Row Posted: April 19, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6014278)
David Price's major league debut was nine days before Kazmar's last previous game. Dirk Hayhurst and Charlie Haeger pitched for Kazmar's Padres in that last 2008 game.
   11. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 19, 2021 at 10:57 PM (#6014361)
MLB announced this year that the standard AAA salary went up this year to $700/week. Veteran guys can sign split level deals for more though.

$700 a week is not terrible for a young guy starting out, as you also get some of your living expenses covered during the season, but it's hard to support a family on that, especially when it's only 5 months a year. (You definitely need an off-season job and/or a better-paid partner.)

Sporting News article from a couple of months ago, after mentioning the $14,700 minimum salary over five months at AAA:

Players, especially at the Triple-A level, can make more money, for a variety of reasons. For example, landing on the 40-man roster comes with an automatic increase — players are immediately covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA and make $46,000 a year on their first MLB contract, playing in the minors. For a second MLB contract, the minimum jumps to $93,000. Players who have signed minor league free-agent deals can make significantly more money.

I don't know what Kazmar's 40-man roster status has been over the years, but I would hope he has at least benefited from some type of time-based raise for veteran players. Wow, he spent 7 straight years at Gwinnett (8 if you could 2020, when they didn't play any games). The weird thing is, he was never really a "regular," usually playing in around 100 games of a 140ish-game season.
   12. bunyon Posted: April 20, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6014396)
AAA must have some weird social dynamics. I mean, I get that MLB teams have teammates making $30 million and $600K sitting next to each other but, by most standards, both of those men are making a lot of money. It isn't like the lower paid guy is wondering if he can pay his gas bill.

At AAA, though, a guy on the 40 man making $100K and a kid making $700/week are living massively different lives but doing the same job.


   13. base ball chick Posted: April 20, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6014421)
Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 19, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#6014236)
One day on an MLB roster gets him lifetime medical and about a $40k pension at age 62. I’m not sure those benefits existed 12 years ago

There are some random internet claims that one day is lifetime medical, but neither of these claims pass the smell test.


- i heard that claim as far back as 04 when i first started blogging. I remember cheering any guy who came up for even a day even if he didn't throw a pitch or get an AB because now he had lifetime health ins. i'm pretty sure i got that from my mama and it surprised me that it isn't true seeing as how she is not almost ever wrong about baseball stuff, but maybe i didn't hear it from


Here is a video from a guy (with 18 career MLB games) who says it isn't true, and a commenter says you are eligible for MLB health plan on day 1, but not lifetime medical.

https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/f7s300/matt_antonelli_1_day_in_mlb_lifetime_health/


- that guy, i swear he talks like the most annoying grrl like EVAH. takes 15 minutes to make a simple point.


Older references say you need 43 days to get a $34k pension.


- i'm positive i heard this one too
   14. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: April 24, 2021 at 11:51 PM (#6015231)
What's are some of the longer times away from the pro roster in other sports? Presumably it's more likely to happen because of injury in the NFL or NBA since there's no minors-like system like MLB and NHL have, but there has to be players who went decent stretches off a pro roster. Like, I can't imagine Gronkowski is tied with a bunch of others for the all-time NFL lead in this regard with one year off.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: April 25, 2021 at 12:11 AM (#6015236)
What's are some of the longer times away from the pro roster in other sports?


Jordan's second retirement?
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: April 25, 2021 at 12:16 AM (#6015238)
fwiw, Kazmar was demoted today after going 0 for 1 in his second act.

Dave Stieb's final 2 MLB seasons were 1993 and 1998.

Bob Cousy's for NBA were 1963 and 1970.

(I assume we're looking for something like a 5-game minimum to account for stunts like Minnie Minoso.)

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