Pay disparity overshadowed by baseball contracts

Nickie Morris, Assistant Sports Editor

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In the past month, four high-paying, long-term contracts worth a combined $1.3 billion have been signed by Major League Baseball players under the age of 30.

The MLB gets away with paying minor league players less than minimum wage. Meanwhile, billions of dollars go to major league players.

The lowest salary for a rookie minor league player is $1,100 per month, but only during the season.

There’s no compensation during spring training and instructional league play, according to the MLB website.

Minor league players that play in farm leagues are in a class action lawsuit to make minimum wage and get compensation for time they were required to work without pay, according to a July 2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.

Less than 10 percent of these players typically make it to the major league, according to the article.

Yet the MLB is drowning in wealth and gives its best players enormous contracts.

The Colorado Rockies’ star third baseman Nolan Arenado received $260 million eight year contract extension, according to a Feb. 27 ESPN article.

Arenado still had one year left on his original contract, according to ESPN.

The free agent rush started with Manny Machado signing a $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, according to an April 2018 CBS Sports article.

Former national league MVP outfielder Bryce Harper was also a free agent.

Harper later signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for $330 million over 13 years, according to an March 1 MLB.com article.

This was the end of the biggest explosions for major league free agents.  

Mike Trout signed a 12 year extension worth more than $430 million, according to an March 19 ESPN article.

Trout is often acknowledged as MLB’s best player today.

His extension came after speculation that he might sign with Philadelphia and join Harper.

At age 27, Trout may never be a free agent again.

This cash influx comes during disputes with the MLB and their players union.

Paying minor league players less than minimum wage not only makes the organization look bad, it is also inhumane for a league where baseball is a full-time job.