Minor League Baseball Millionaires? I Think Not

Peyton Parks, Sports Editor

Professional athletes, they all make millions, right? If only that were true.

While Major League Baseball (MLB) players are being paid on average $4.17 million dollars a year, their younger brothers of the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) are not as lucky.

As of this year, the average MiLB player’s salary sat at $44,680 which is $10,000 less than the US average salary, which is absurd since the MLB players are making so much more than them. 

As the MLB is currently in a lockout over player and owner disputes, one of the main points brought up by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is the low pay. The MLBPA is basically the players union.

The MLB has implemented a weekly minimum salary for each class of minor league baseball.

Class A’s minimum is $500, Double A is $600, and Triple A is $700. 

Along with being paid so poorly, MLB hasn’t offered living facilities for the minor leaguers. 

Many of the Minor league players have been forced to work second and even third jobs to be able to live and have a roof over their heads. This can wear the players out and make them unable to perform at their best ability.

Some team owners have taken the initiative in paying for housing, such as the Astros and the Nationals, but the majority of the players and even coaches believe that the housing stipend should be coming out of the MLB’s pockets opposed to the team owners.

As a way to try and save what little money they are being paid, many players have opted to rent apartments with each other.

Local minor league team the Aberdeen Ironbirds have apartments available directly next to the stadiums; owners of the team purchased these. Players can choose to rent these apartments, but so can anybody else.

If they already own the apartments, why not allow the players to stay here for free during the season?

Another way owners of the teams are trying to find low cost or free housing is to encourage local families to sponsor minor league players. Families can host a player and many owners are offering them free tickets in return. 

Another disadvantage is that some team owners are on a lower budget than others. Such as the Tampa Bay Rays; their final pay roll was $71 million while the Los Angeles Dodgers final pay roll was $285 million. As a result, there isn’t always enough money to try and purchase housing for players.

Many argue that the minor leaguers receive brand deals from Rawlings and different bat companies to help increase the flow of money, but that is not the case, unless you are a top prospect for a team. Many of these players are required to buy their own gear.

Some may think a glove and bat may not run your pockets dry, but the bats do break and the gloves will break down after strenuous use.

This is why the thought of professional athletes making millions needs to go by the wayside and they should be earning liveable wages for playing.