Boost in pay for minor league players was the right move to make

General view outside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 07, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. According to reports, Major League Baseball is considering a scenario in which all 30 of its teams play an abbreviated regular season without fans in Arizona's various baseball facilities, including Chase Field and 10 spring training venues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
General view outside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 07, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. According to reports, Major League Baseball is considering a scenario in which all 30 of its teams play an abbreviated regular season without fans in Arizona's various baseball facilities, including Chase Field and 10 spring training venues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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A canceled season, hordes of released players flooding the market, and pay cuts for those who were able to keep their jobs, made for a tumultuous 2020 season for minor league baseball. On top of that, more than forty minor league teams found out in late December they would no longer be a part of affiliated baseball. Relationships tattered, bridges burned.

The 2021 baseball season will feature minor league baseball and those players who are lucky enough to land a job in a team’s farm system, will be looking at a pay raise this year. Minor league players have been earning meager salaries since the creation of the game, and while they will continue to do so, will earn a little more than they used to.

Boost in pay for minor league players is a step in the right direction as fences continue to be mended.

When the coronavirus pandemic first gripped the nation with its jaws, payrolls for major league teams began getting slashed immediately. You’ll remember the Washington Nationals were right in the middle of this. Not only did they outright release several minor league players, they initially announced they would be cutting the stipend for those minor league players still earning a check. Players would only receive $300 a week as opposed to the $400 they had been pulling in.

This caused Sean Doolittle, who was a Nationals pitcher at the time, to gather teammates together to foot the bill on the lost income of the minor league players.

"“All of us were minor leaguers at one point in our careers and we know how important the weekly stipends are for them and their families during these uncertain times,” Doolittle wrote. “Minor leaguers are an essential part of our organization and they are bearing the heaviest burden of this situation as their season is likely to be cancelled.”"

After this announcement, the Nationals front office decided to change course and pay their minor leaguers the full stipend.

The discussion about pay for minor leaguers has been on-going for years. In 2014 a group of minor league players filed a lawsuit against major league teams saying their scant pay was a violation of many laws. While the pay for minor leaguers and the awful events which took place last summer are not really related, seeing more money being dolled out to players living pay check to pay check is very gratifying.

dark. Next. Three players Nationals should sign, finalize spring roster

This small pay raise doesn’t solve the problem, though the pay increase is a step in the right direction.

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