M2 had mentioned something in passing about the idea of "career minor leaguers," that got me thinking. Feel free to correct me on what you were getting at, M2, but it seemed like your premise was that some consideration should be given to allowing teams to give merit pay for guys who are solid performers and contributors to the organization, although they may not have the talent necessary to crack the bigs and stick, rather than just cutting them loose "to get on with life" or become an instructor in the org.
So, the questions have to do with how finances are handled between minor league affiliates and big league clubs. First, are the affiliates separate enterprises with separate finances from the big league club, or are they funded by the big league club, or somewhere in between? What determines who gets paid what? Is it a flat rate for everyone with the signing bonus variable?