Up & Coming Weekly

April 30, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 1-7, 2019 UCW 13 NEWS Minor league baseball players not in it for the money by JEFF THOMPSON Minor league baseball functions as a farm system for the major leagues, which pay the players and set their salaries and bonuses. Players in the majors start at $545,000 per year this season, and the pay goes up from there, thanks to the Ma- jor League Baseball Players Association. In the minor leagues, players don't have a union and perform under a standard league contract that provides a fixed salary starting at $1,100 per month. Major League Baseball is considering a significant increase in salaries for minor league players, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported in March. According to Passan, MLB officials sug- gested raising the pay for minor league players during a recent meeting with the group that oversees the minors. But the pay situation is likely to remain as is for now, thanks to a deal the team owners got from Congress in the omnibus spending bill passed in March. ere have been years of criticism and lawsuits re- garding minor league wages. e Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly in the process of considering a 50% pay increase for all players affiliated with their MiLB clubs. "We have received many questions regard- ing the decision of the Toronto Blue Jays to increase the salaries of minor league players," MLB said in a statement to ESPN. e major league commissioner's office is pres- ently in negotiations with the National Association of Professional Baseball on the terms of a new agree- ment to replace a contract that expires in Septem- ber 2020. "e working conditions of minor league players, including their compensation, facilities and benefits, is an important area of discussion in those negotiations," the league said. With rare exception, major league clubs do not own minor league teams but have affiliation contracts with them. e Fayetteville Woodpeck- ers organization is one of the exceptions. e team is owned and operated by the Houston Astros, which is beneficial to the Wood- peckers organization and the city of Fayetteville. e city has a 30-year agree- ment with the Astros to provide minor league baseball at the new stadium. Parent major league clubs pay minor league players' salaries and benefits and provide bats and balls. e minor league teams pay for in-season travel and other operational expenses. e maximum a first-year minor leaguer can make is $1,100 a month. After the first year, there is no monthly maximum so the player can make more. e major league teams negotiate all the contracts. Hometown families some- times adopt minor league players and provide sleeping quarters and meals. "e Woodpeckers are all living in a high-end apart- ment building in Fayetteville," team President Mark Zarthar said. He would not say whether the players pay rent. At the Single A level, it's difficult for a player to make ends meet. is is the reason that when players are drafted, they often ask for larger signing bonuses. As players move up in the organization, new contracts are negotiated. Minor leaguers are not paid well until at least the next level. AAA play- ers make much higher salaries. In the minor leagues, players don't have a union and perform under a standard league contract that provides a fixed salary starting at $1,100 per month. *Some restrictions and limitations may apply. Subject to credit approval and credit history. MAIN OFFICE 2917 VILLAGE DRIVE, FAYET TEVILLE D OWNTOWN 201 HAY STREET, FAYET TEVILLE SPRING L AKE 219 N. MAIN STREET, SPRING LAKE Mortgages Made Easy. Visit BraggMutual.org Today. Building WEALTH Through HOME OWNERSHIP Fayetteville's Neighborhood Pet Store 1216 Fort Bragg Rd • (910) 860-1200 @WoofGangFay Happy Mother's Day Full-Service Grooming • Self-Wash Room Healthy Pet Foods • Gourmet Treats Toys • Collars & Leashes and Much More!

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