View Full Version : Thoughts on the pay of MLB players

03-14-2008, 10:11 AM
I would like to take credit for the following, but I didn't write it. It was posted by a trucker in the non trucking section of a board I frequent for expedite truckers. Here's a link to the entire thread as well.


Baseball is, actually, a lot like Hollywood, in the same sense that both are the entertainment business. But overpaid? Overpaid in relation to what? To what you and I make at our jobs?
Is Tom Cruise overpaid because he makes $20 million for a movie that grosses $240 million?

Is an author overpaid when he gets $2 a book that sells just 10,000 copies? What about if the book sells 1 million copies? At what point does he become over paid?

If the average line haul for freight was $18 a mile, would you be overpaid if you got $11 a mile to haul it, or would you prefer a buck a mile in order to not be overpaid?

Very few people realize that the vast majority of professional baseball players cannot afford their own home, because they don't make enough money. Huh? What? Not enough money?!?!

The vast majority of professional baseball players do not play in the Major Leagues, they toil in the Minor Leagues getting paid only for the time they are playing. Rookie and Short-Season Class-A ballplayers get $850 a month. It's a 4-month season. Regular Season (6 months) Class-A players get $1100 a month, Class-AA players get $1500 a month, and Class-AAA players get $1500 a month. A significant number of players play in the Independent Leagues, like the Frontier League, where they get paid $500 a month or less (the Florence Freedom in Florence, KY is one such team, I'm sure you've seen the stadium as you've passed by it on I-75).

The Grand Ol' Game is alive and well in community parks, high schools, colleges, Minor and Independent leagues. In places like Florence, Billings, Toledo, Cedar Rapids, and Charlotte. More than a million people a year play baseball. Yet, in any given year there are about 15,000 professional baseball players on the 245 Minor League teams affiliated with the Major League club, as well as in the Independent Leagues. Every kid in Rookie Ball was the best player in his high school. Every one of them. You have to be pretty good to even get to the lowest level of professional baseball. But, less than one percent of those will make it to the Major Leagues.

The top 750, the elite of the elite, the top one percent of all of these baseball players make it to The Show, to the Big Leagues, where the big money is. But are they overpaid? The players aren't getting paid more money that's in the pot, that's for sure. It's a big pot. It's just a matter of scale for the top one percent.

And even at that scale, it's a matter of what the market will bear. The average salary of an MLB player is just a tad under $3 million, but that number is greatly skewed by just the top 25 salaries. For every Alex Rodriguez making $23 million a year, there are half a dozen Jeff Keppinger's making $350,000.

$350,000 sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but by the time an agent takes 20% and the IRS takes their half, it's not as much as you might think. You have to be really good, for a long time, in order to get paid the league average salary. Or, you have to be able to take the game by storm and be a superstar out of the gate. Those are the ones we hear about, the A Rods and the Jeters and the Mannys.

The Grand Ol' Game is alive and well. Whether the front of your uniform says Pizza Hut, the Dayton Dragons, the Traverse City Beach Bums or the New York Yankees, it's still the same game between the white lines, and you gotta play the game. The hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a round ball with a round bat squarely, no matter how much you get paid.

03-14-2008, 11:16 AM
great post :clap:

03-14-2008, 01:02 PM
The entertainment business and within it - profesional sports - is a highly leveraged career choice.

And while there are obvious "stars" in both arts and sports who will "make it" due to talent, there are others who must wait for a "break" to get their payday.

It's the nature of the beast.

Great Post.