JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp players will continue to be paid through August, according to a report from Baseball America on Wednesday, ensuring that most minor leaguers here will earn the majority of their paychecks despite not playing.
The Jumbo Shrimp are the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Miami Marlins. The bulk of minor leaguers were being paid $400 a week through May 31. The Jumbo Shrimp’s season was scheduled to run through Sept. 7, although the team has yet to play a game this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news comes at a time when uncertainty about professional baseball resuming continues to ramp up, as owners and the players union continue to wrangle about pay and parameters of the season resuming. Minor leaguers are not well paid to begin with.
According to MiLB.com, players in their first year of the minors can earn no more than $1,100 a month.
According to The Athletic, the average salary for minor league players was $15,000 in Triple-A, $9,350 in Double-A and $6,000 in Single-A. Those numbers are using data from 2018. Major League Baseball announced that it would increase weekly paychecks between 38% and 72% for rookie and short-level season players in 2021.
As an example, Jumbo Shrimp players would receive a boost from their current $350 a week to $600 a week starting next year, according to information obtained by the Associated Press. Players are only paid during the season and don’t get paid during spring training or the offseason.
The news that the Marlins will pay minor leaguers is a 180 from how Oakland is handling paying its minor leaguers.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday night that Oakland would stop paying its minor leaguers the $400 weekly when the May 31 deadline expires. As Passan noted in a rough estimate, it would cost the Athletics a little more than $1 million to pay all players in their farm system. The owner, John Fisher, has a net worth of $2.1 billion according to Forbes.
Just some rough math. Say there are 200 players in a minor league system. Paying each $400/week for July, July and August is $5,200 per player. To pay every minor leaguer would have cost the Oakland A's a hair over $1 million.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 27, 2020
Owner John Fisher is worth an estimated $2 billion.
Oakland is the only team so far to announce it would halt payments to minor leaguers. One player with area ties, former Baker County pitcher, is currently a minor leaguer in the Oakland farm system.