Baseball players make a lot of money in the professional ranks. Approximately $17.8 billion is the value of the average Major League Baseball team, and the MLB earned more than $10 billion in 2018. With this kind of revenue, one would expect players at all levels of professional baseball to be fairly well compensated. Unfortunately, you would be mistaken.
While those who play in the major leagues earn millions of dollars every year, the same cannot be said for those who play in minor leagues. Players in the minor leagues earn wages that are so low that they are considered to be living below the federal poverty line. But how much do they get paid, and how did this all come to be in the first place?
Average Yearly Salary of Minor League Baseball Players
Minor leaguers must contend with deplorable living conditions, deplorable food, and the necessity of working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet — all while pursuing their dreams of one day making it to the show.
These annoyances are not an issue for top draught picks. When first-year players from high school and college sign, they can earn six-figure and seven-figure signing bonuses. Those who don’t, which is the majority of a team’s minor leaguers, earn far less than any state’s minimum wage.
Before the 2020 season, Major League Baseball issued a memo instructing major league teams to increase the minimum salaries for minor league players, which will reportedly increase by 38 to 72 percent. Even so, given the number of hours these players put in during the season and offseason, that’s not nearly enough.
How poorly are minor leaguers compensated for their efforts? Let’s just say they earn less than the average janitor at a high school.
Who is the highest-paid baseball player in the minor leagues?
Castillo was one of the highest-paid players in the Minor League.
Castillo, a Cuban defector, signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in August 2014.
MLB Raises Minor-League Player Minimum Salaries in 2021
Rookie and short-season salaries will increase from $290 to $400 per week, while players in A ball will see an increase in their weekly salary from $290 to $500. Rookie and short-season salaries will increase from $290 to $400 per week. Players in Double-A will earn $600 per week, an increase from $350, and players in Triple-A will earn $700 per week, an increase from $502 per week.
Over the years, minor league pay has been the subject of intense scrutiny, particularly since Major League Baseball successfully lobbied Congress to exempt players in the minors from receiving salaries that are commensurate with the federal minimum wage.