The Minor League Baseball (MiLB) system is a complex structure that serves as a training ground for aspiring Major League Baseball (MLB) players. The system is divided into four classes: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low or Single-A. Each level represents a different stage of a player's development, with Single-A being one of the initial steps towards reaching the major leagues.
Salary Structure in Single-A
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the minimum salaries for minor league players. For Single-A players, salaries have grown from $11,000 to $26,200 at Low Class A, and from $13,800 to $27,300 at High Class A. However, these figures represent the minimum salary, and actual earnings can vary based on a player's contract with the major league club.
Weekly Earnings and Seasonal Pay
Before the recent changes, Single-A players were earning around $290 a week. Now, they earn a minimum of $500 a week. It's important to note that these players are only paid during the season, which lasts for about six months. This means that for half of the year, these players do not receive a salary from their baseball activities.
Supplementing Income with Signing Bonuses
To supplement their income, players often receive initial signing bonuses. These bonuses can significantly boost a player's earnings, especially for top prospects who can command six-figure or even seven-figure bonuses. However, not all players receive such substantial bonuses, and many still struggle to make ends meet.
The Disparity Between Minor and Major Leagues
Despite the recent increases, the salaries of Single-A players pale in comparison to those in the major leagues. The minimum salary for an MLB player for the 2021 season was $570,500, highlighting the vast disparity between the two leagues.
The Struggle for Fair Pay
The low salaries of Single-A players have been a contentious issue for years. The Save America’s Pastime Act of 2018 legally exempted Minor League players from federal minimum wage and overtime pay rules, leading to further financial strain. However, players continue to advocate for better pay, and the recent salary increases are seen as a step in the right direction.