Most individuals are falling under hard times. Local non-essential businesses are failing due to a forced closure by local governments and restrictions. Sure, a check is coming, but it may not even be enough to cover the essentials like shelter, food, and other bills. For baseball, it put minor leaguers in a bind. For those that don’t know the financial situation for minor leaguers, it gets rough. The salary also depends on which league the players play in. According to Adam Wells of Bleacher Report, MLB announced an increase in pay for minor leaguers. The catch is that the rise begins in 2021, leaving minor league players with a significant financial burden on their shoulders.
Good news: All minor league players will be receiving $400 a week from Major League Baseball teams through at least May 31, source tells ESPN. They’ll receive medical benefits, too. Announcement by the league is expected soon.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 31, 2020
|League||Average Current Salary||2021 Projected Average Salary|
|*salary only accumulated during minor league season|
One thing to keep in mind when evaluating the minor leaguer salaries is that these players only get paid during the regular season (not the offseason or Spring Training). Therefore, these weekly salaries only cover a three-to-five month span. MLB announced yesterday that minor leaguers would receive a weekly allowance of $400 a week from major league teams for the next two months (while the season should be underway). But let’s think about that, $1,600/month, and that’s assuming it’s after-tax deductions. At this time, the US and local governments placed travel restrictions, and players continue to quarantine in locations where $1,600 covers one month of rent. Under these financial hard times, one Ranger stepped up to help his younger brethren, Shin-Soo Choo.
According to a report in Naver Sports, #TexasRangers OF/DH Shin Soo Choo will be donating 1K to each 190 minor league players in the org to help them get thru this difficult time. Not sure if donation is the right word, but the total giving comes out to 190k. #mlb
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) April 1, 2020
Shin-Soo enters 2020 as the last year of his seven-year/$130M contract. He plays with passion and poise, an aspect that Chris Woodward urges all of his players to incorporate. But what separates Choo from others, is his willingness to help others, even competition. Choo is a leader in the Rangers clubhouse and also voted as the Rangers recipient of the 2019 Good Guy Award a couple of months ago. To start the month of April, Naver Sports reported Choo is donating $1,000 to every single Rangers’ minor leaguer (190 total minor league players). Choo is in a similar boat as some other minor league players who can’t travel outside the United States due to travel restrictions.
The tricky part is that everything is still unknown. Yes, minor leaguers will continue to receive eight $400 payments from now until June 1st, but what happens after that? Even if Major League Baseball resumes, what about minor league baseball? There are rumors that some minor league teams cannot withhold a lack of revenue and would need to shut down since, for Major League teams, a bulk of their revenue rests on the hefty television deals. All of this is a scary thought in the next upcoming months, but one thing isn’t frightening Shin-Soo Choo’s generosity. If there was any debate on whether he deserved the Good Guy award this past offseason, that debate’s ship sailed. Last season, Chris Woodward and Shin-Soo Choo had a discussion that sticked with Woody, it’s something we can all learn from Choo. “”He doesn’t take anything for granted. He tells his kids the same thing, don’t you take being able to hit on a big league field for granted.”
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