The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, February 15, 2020 1:00 am

Baseball notebook

Minor leaguers to get raises in '21

Associated press

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball is raising the minimum salary for minor league players in 2021, according to a memo sent Friday from the commissioner's office to all 30 teams and obtained by The Associated Press.

Two years after successfully lobbying Congress to exempt minor leaguers from federal minimum wage laws, MLB opted to give those players a wage increase between 38% and 72%. The bump was discussed at last week's owners meetings and confirmed in the memo from Morgan Sword, executive vice president of baseball economics and operations.

Players at rookie and short-season levels will see their minimum weekly pay raised from $290 to $400, and players at Class A will go from $290 to $500. Double-A will jump from $350 to $600, and Triple-A from $502 to $700.

Minor leaguers are paid only during the five-month season and don't receive wages during the offseason or spring training.

The raises come as MLB is negotiating with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of the minors, to replace the Professional Baseball Agreement that expires after the 2020 seasons. MLB proposed cutting 42 of the 160 required affiliated teams during those negotiations, a plan criticized by small-town fans and politicians at the local and national level.

By comparison, the major league minimum is $563,500 this year, and the top players make over $30 million annually. For players on 40-man rosters on option to the minors, the minimum is $46,000 this season.

Minor league salaries have been stagnant for years, and players have strained to make ends meet on as little as $5,500 per season. Some players live in overcrowded apartments, sleeping on air mattresses, subsisted on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and sacrificed potential training hours to work better-paying jobs in the offseason.

Extra bases

Cleveland starting pitcher Mike Clevinger will have left knee surgery after an injury during a spring training workout. Clevinger sustained a partial cartilage tear Wednesday at the team's complex in Goodyear, Arizona, the Indians said. A timetable for his return will be set after the operation. But it's safe to assume he will miss at least several weeks. Also, the Indians and outfielder Domingo Santana agreed to a $1.5 million contract that includes a $5 million club option for 2021. ... All-Star closer Josh Hader lost his salary arbitration case against the Milwaukee Brewers, dropping players to 1-6 in hearings this year. Hader will earn $4.1 million rather than his $6.4 million request. Seven players remain scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 21. 


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