Ben Walker and Jake Seiner of the Associated Press report that Major League Baseball will raise the salaries of minor league players, starting with the 2021 season. The Professional Baseball Agreement expires after this season, so this change comes as a result of negotiations towards a new agreement.
The raises will range between 38 percent and 72 percent. Here are the weekly raises broken down by level:
Rookie and short-season: Up to $400 from $290
Single-A: Up to $500 from $290
Double-A: Up to $600 from $350
Triple-A: Up to $700 from $502
While the raises are nice, it is not nearly enough. This still does not guarantee minor league players a livable wage. As the Associated Press notes, Triple-A players can earn $14,000 for their five-month season and short-season players can earn $4,800 for their three-month season. Minor leaguers are not paid during the offseason or for spring training.
Major League Baseball for years lobbied Congress to prevent minor league players from earning worker protections like a minimum wage and overtime pay, earning a legislative victory last year. The raises are a fraction of what they might otherwise pay in a just society.
Last week, Minor League Baseball boasted about full rosters being included in the video game MLB The Show 20 for the first time in the game’s history. Minor leaguers sign away the rights to their names and likenesses as a result of playing in the league. They are not part of a union and thus have not had the leverage to earn back those rights. Along with their actual on-field labor, both MLB and MiLB are taking advantage of their workforce in yet another way. The marginal pay raises, to go into effect next year, do little to soften that blow.