Minor League Baseball Players or Exploited Workers?

2 min read

Pedro Olivas-Holguin Jr.

Staff Writer

Aaron Judge, one of MLB’s most notable and talented players currently playing, recently signed a nine-year $360 million dollar contract. This made it the 7th largest sports contract of all time and the 3rd largest in MLB history. 

Trevor Hildenberger, a much lesser known baseball player, was not so fortunate. Hildenberger was first signed to the Minnesota Twins on a seven-year rookie deal. As for the money, Hildenberger said he was paid $185 every two weeks. He along with his teammates calculated his checks with the hours spent training, traveling, and playing, and Hildenberger was making $2 an hour. 

A stark contrast between professional baseball players, the only real difference outside of skill being that one is in the Major league whilst the other is in the Minor league. This umbrella of Minor League Baseball has protected the MLB from paying and respecting its players, especially young ones, under the guise that one day they’ll make it to he big league and get their payday. Unfortunately, many do not; approximately 10% of players ever get the chance, let alone create sustainable careers for themselves. But a lot of these guys don’t have time to waste, Hildenberger had to move back in with his parents and sell his equipment just to survive.

The MLB has hardly taken any steps in solving this issue since taking full control over the Minor League in 2019. Instead, the players have taken matters into their own hands. Rosenblum–Larson, a professional baseball player, created the More Than Baseball foundation, a group that helps create custom cleats for Major League players to wear and spread awareness of the exploitation of baseball players. 

Many players in the Minor League are making less than the minimum wage whilst the MLB made $10.9 billion dollars last year. These are baseball players, but, first and foremost, they are human beings and workers who deserve a livable wage.

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