Minor league salaries

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  • #122579
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    gscottar said:

    If we shouldn’t criticize his wisdom in being cautious and conservative with his major league operation then we shouldn’t criticize his wisdom with his milb contraction stance.

    Let’s step back from this particular example and consider the fundamental logic behind what is being offered here.

    We are being told that if we agree (or disagree) with a particular position taken by a person on ONE MATTER, then we must take that same stance (agree or disagree) on OTHER positions that person takes on OTHER subjects, as well.

    In other words, we must always agree (or disagree) with a person, regardless of the subject. And if posters dare to consider different issues on their own individual merits, they are labeled hypocrites by those who paint with a broad brush.

    That logic just doesn’t hold water, no matter what or who is being discussed.

    On the specific matter at hand, I spent a fair amount of time yesterday explaining why I believe there is a significant difference between the two subjects – the Cardinals MLB team payroll and minor league salaries across baseball – but I think I wasted my time.

    #122589
    Avatarforsch31
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    Mudville, while you are correct that those 48 players didn’t have much of a chance to reach the majors, most of them were in the system to evaluate whether they could develop into a major leaguer. I don’t have the names of those 48 players but I assume almost all of them were in the system for only 1-3 years. Once it was determined they didn’t have a chance, they were let go.

    With a smaller minor league system, does Delvin Perez get 3-4 years to develop? Does Tommy Pham get 6 years to make it to the majors? Do the Cardinals go get Jose Martinez knowing that blocks another prospect since they have minimal space? A larger minor league system gives a team a little more time to evaluate a player or let them develop more since roster spots aren’t a premium commodity.

    #122592
    AvatarMinuteman3
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    We are being told that if we agree (or disagree) with a particular position taken on ONE MATTER by a person, then we must take that same stance (agree or disagree) on EVERY OTHER position that person takes, as well.

    Hmmm, starting to sound close to being a political statement…..LOL

    #122593
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Forsch, here is the article mud referenced. It is free.

    Saying Goodbyes to 48 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Players

    #122598
    AvatarMinuteman3
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    Thanks Brian. Great article. It may not be possible but if someone needed a project they could take the drafts for the past 10 years or so and see how many players made it to the majors and how many are still in the minors. The numbers should only count players who come through the low minors (low A and below). This might give us an idea of how many prospects would be discouraged from continuing if the numbers of minor league teams were cut. Of course, the fan’s loss would be appreciable too.

    #122604
    BlackHillsCardBlackHillsCard
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    MM3, not sure if you mean something like this spreadsheet, but I created this last summer and it goes all the way back to 1965, the first year of the MLB draft.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jyv8Wr8h12oG0As5RwKNmm7DOJx7HPmtVr4IiQ_Jqp4/edit?usp=sharing

    #122605
    AvatarMinuteman3
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    Thanks BHC. I made a copy to put in my Document file and will read it very soon when I have enough time to go through it without interruption. Looks like 10 pages of good info. Thanks again.

    #122606
    Avatargscottar
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    Brian, I think the two subjects are related. The common denominator is ownership not wanting to spend. Frankly, I think fans should be able to complain about both. Personally I am more interested in spending on the big league team but I know some would rather spend on the minors.

    Is equal money spent on the two? No and they shouldn’t be. I guess the question is how big should the gap be and does a baseball organization really need 300 minor league players?

    #122607
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    gscottar said:

    Frankly, I think fans should be able to complain about both.

    Frankly, that is a welcome change. Had you simply said that before instead of trying to tell others they could not complain about one without complaining about the other and calling those who don’t agree with you “hypocrites”, we would not be having this continued discussion.

    #122611
    BlackHillsCardBlackHillsCard
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    For less than $10M DeWitt could pay every minor league player $30,000 a year. Every single player. When you take out the guys in the DSL the cost is even less than that and you could structure the system so guys in GCL and Johnson City make less than that but have the salaries increase with promotions like they currently do now. $10M a year is nothing for MLB owners and it would keep the players focused on baseball where they don’t have to take on offseason jobs to make ends meet. You could even make it so the salary covers their time in Spring Training.

    #122612
    Avatargscottar
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    Frankly, that is a welcome change.

    LOL. Touche.

    The best way to describe my view would be to say I have a much stronger interest in minor league players than I do minor league teams. If Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach, and Peoria hoist trophies at the end of the year that is nice I guess but I am more concerned with what numbers those players put up because that is an indication as to what is headed towards St. Louis. Some say you can’t have one without the other but I think that is debatable.

    I also think the number of minor league players an organization has should be up for debate. I wouldn’t consider the current system to be the holy grail.

    I think many of us like to play the role of devil’s advocate and probably go overboard at times. I will try to do better.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Avatargscottar.
    #122614
    Avatarforsch31
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    I think they are separate issues. On one hand, fans are basically telling ownership they should spend almost all their profits and earn very little on their investment. That is at the major league level.

    The other side of the argument is that they are operating the minors almost like a sweat shop. I know the players could quit playing and find a job that doesn’t involve playing a game. However, they deserve to be paid at least minimum wage for all the time they are required to put in for their current job.

    There is a vast difference between saying spend $20-$40 million/year on a couple of players as opposed to $4 million combined per year to a couple of hundred players.

    #122615
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    Maybe they should raise ticket prices and put all the games on pay per view. Let the fans pay for it.

    People here really hate capitalism.

    At the end of the day, we are all getting a good look at how markets work. Raise the minimum wage – lower the number of jobs. The good news is that this will give people new victims to champion.

    #122624
    BlackHillsCardBlackHillsCard
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    People here really hate capitalism.

    At the end of the day, we are all getting a good look at how markets work. Raise the minimum wage – lower the number of jobs. The good news is that this will give people new victims to champion.

    What you describe is what makes capitalism blow and suck.

    #122628
    AvatarCariocaCardinal
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    I think there is an easy frèe market solution right in this thread. At the new salary level I estimate it would cost about $120k a year for player salaries for each of the 42 eliminated teams. Let’s call it $5 million total for the year. I can’t see where it would not be viable for Nike to pay $5 million a year for uniform and equipment rights to all 240 for minor league teams. That would be about $30k apiece for the 160 revenue generating minor league teams.

    In exchange Nike would get guaranteed sales of $2.4 million a year (estimated $10k for uniforms and equipment for 240 teams). They could also get free stadium, program and other advertising rights in the total of $2.4 million (or some other value) spread across those 240 teams. Nike would also get jersey sale and hat sale rights for all minor league teams. Of course sales are not going to be what they are on the mlb level but with better marketing they could increase a lot. On a per team basis Nike is only paying $20k-$30k a year. Most likely Nike would want more advertising at the upper levels so the AAA teams would be slightly subsidizing lowet level teams.

    And the cherry on top? Nike could hold itself up as the saviour of minor league baseball.

    A win-win for everyone.

    #122629
    Avatargscottar
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    There is a vast difference between saying spend $20-$40 million/year on a couple of players as opposed to $4 million combined per year to a couple of hundred players.

    My guess is that the Cardinals could afford to do both but instead choose to do neither. My point is that both should be celebrated or both should be condemned.

    But if forced to choose, if you did a poll of Cardinal fans of choosing between spending enough to build a 95 win team in St. Louis or spending enough so the guys in State College could have some extra spending money I think we know what the results would be.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Avatargscottar.
    #122650
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    But if forced to choose, if you did a poll of Cardinal fans of choosing between spending enough to build a 95 win team in St. Louis or spending enough so the guys in State College could have some extra spending money I think we know what the results would be.

    For sure. That doesn’t mean that both aren’t the right thing to do, though.

    #122753
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Fangraphs has an analysis of the recently-announced minor league pay increases for 2021.

    “Minor Leaguers To Be Paid More, Not Enough”

    #122767
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    Of course it isn’t enough (it is still peanuts). It never will be.

    What is a fair wage for workers in a business that loses money? Do the people bearing the burden of the losses get a say on how much they should be able to lose?

    The WNBA, which loses over $10 million per year, just basically doubled player salaries. And I can guarantee you that will not be enough soon enough.

    That’s the beauty of the word fair. It means whatever you want it to mean. So demands for a fair wage can go on forever – until the loudest voices demanding fair get their wishes of the economic system of their preference. And what used to be an unfair wage starts looking like a pipe dream. Venezuelan players probably aren’t complaining too loudly.

    #122770
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    A good place to start would be the US minimum wage laws, which are very clear. Until now, MLB has used its means to legally avoid following these laws for minor leaguers. This is why there is a class action suit making its way through the Federal courts.

    #122781
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    I’m not convinced that the FLSA is “very clear.” I mean, for some reason teachers are somehow exempted from most of those laws, as are a ton of “seasonal” employees.

    But let’s say that we can make minor league players fall under this rule. Let’s flesh it out a little bit.

    1. For home games, what are considered hours worked? Is it the time that players are required to be at the ballpark? If they come early for special instruction, do they clock in for that?

    2. For away games, do bus rides count as time worked? Or would we do it just like home games?

    3. Would you exempt them from overtime, or shall our new rule require overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a week?

    4. Shall we allow them to use the federal minimum wages, or will it be locally determined? As far as I know, the FLSA requires the higher of the two – which would cause some issues with inequitable pay. If we are going to be “fair”, maybe we need to use the highest minimum wage of any state law, which, if memory serves, is Washington (and I think they are over $13 per hour).

    I think this will be a good exercise to see feasibility. I mean, I can see lawyers arguing for extremes on this, and, if taken to the extreme, the minors would be gutted.

    We would need to work out the questions above for our exercise, but a quick check in if we assume 40 hour work weeks (no overtime), the weekly salaries would range from $290 a week (I think I’ve seen this number recently) and $520.

    But the idea of 40 hours per week is a joke, since the typical day at the ballpark is at least 8 hours, and they average something like 6.5 games per week. I’d honestly estimate the average working hours in a week to be around 60 (though time at the ballpark is probably higher for most, I think ballplayers could agree on being paid for that). So now you’re looking at the range of weekly pay being $510 to $910.

    So is $510 per week an acceptable sum? Is $910? If you paid guys this amount for Spring Training through the end of the season, you are only looking at about 26 weeks, give or take. So their yearly salary would be about $13,000 to $24,000. For some reason, I don’t think that would satisfy the “living wage” and “fair” wage crowd.

    #122809
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    #122812
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    Good for the Giants. Paying for housing is HUGE for those guys. I’m glad to see a team take the lead on this.

    #122858
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Now the Cubs are joining in the one-year early salary increases.

    #122863
    AvatarMinuteman3
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    I would really like to see the Cards raise the minor leaguer salaries this season instead of waiting until 2021. It would be the mark of a class organization to do that.

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