Quick Bit: Manfred said he “kind of rejects” the notion that MiLB players aren’t paid a livable wage, despite evidence to the contrary.

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday said he “rejected the premise” that minor league players aren’t paid a livable wage.

Manfred, making a media appearance at the MLB All-Star Game, was asked about “unlivable wages” among MiLB players. In typical fashion, he gave a tone-deaf answer that touched on signing bonuses and sanctioned housing that is sure to anger baseball fans of all levels.

Here is his full response, per Kyle Glaser of Baseball America:

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While it’s true MLB has made some improvements in regard to paying MiLB players a livable wage — the league cut affiliations with up to 43 minor league teams in late 2021 — recent data suggests that the median salary for a player in AAA (the highest classification in the minor leagues) is just above the poverty line.

Per an April 2022 op-ed from The Washington Post, the average salary for a minor leaguer at that level is $14,000. The 2022 federal poverty guideline for a one-person household is $13,590.

Moreover, Manfred’s blanket statement overlooks the fact that not every MiLB player gets a signing bonus and that sponsored housing was only recently introduced as a means of giving players more livable situations (starting as of the 2022 season). Players are not paid in the offseason or during spring training and are often responsible for expenses related to buying equipment.

According to a three-year study into issues faced by MiLB players (and provided exclusively to The Athletic), 83 percent of roughly 800 MiLB players said salary was the change they’d like to see in MLB. More than half of the players polled said they had jobs in the offseason to support their playing career.

MORE: Ken Rosenthal broke an MLB commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of Rob Manfred

Manfred’s statement was only made worse by the fact he makes millions as MLB’s commissioner. A 2020 Washington Post report indicated he made $11 million in annual salary, with multiple annual raises built into his contract through 2024. His net worth is north of $30 million.

Harry Marino, the director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, issued a statement calling Manfred’s answer “callous and false.”

Count it as another knock against Manfred, who continues to add to an impressively bad tenure as baseball commissioner that includes a mishandled lockout, laughable punishment for the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal … and likely can’t end soon enough for baseball fans.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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