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Rob Manfred insists minor leaguers are paid ‘living wage’

Oct 26, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred before game one of the 2021 World Series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In light of Major League Baseball agreeing to a nine-figure settlement for minor league baseball players, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was asked Tuesday whether minor leaguers weren’t being paid a living wage because owners didn’t want to or couldn’t.

“I kind of reject the premise … that minor league players are not paid a living wage,” Manfred said.

Minimum salaries for minor league players are $400 per week at the Rookie level, $500 per week at Class-A, $600 per week at Double-A and $700 per week at Triple-A, according to CBS Sports.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers, an advocacy group described as “a coalition of current and former players, wives and partners, families and fans,” responded to Manfred’s assertion.

“Most Minor League baseball players work second jobs because their annual salaries are insufficient to make ends meet,” executive director Harry Marino said in a statement. “The commissioner makes an annual salary of $17.5 million. His suggestion that Minor League pay is acceptable is both callous and false.”

The $17.5 million figure comes from an ESPN report last month.

MLB will pay a $185 million settlement to former minor leaguers who sought recompense for minimum-wage and overtime violations, according to a court document that was revealed Friday.

MLB also agreed to “rescind any contractual prohibitions against the MLB Clubs paying minor league players’ wages.” Clubs previously were not allowed to pay its minor league players during spring training, extended spring training and instructional leagues.

–Field Level Media