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Friday, December 12, 2014
MLB Sued Over Minor League Wages in New Antitrust Suit

On Friday, a group of four former minor league baseball players filed a federal class action antitrust lawsuit in California, contending that Major League Baseball teams have illegally colluded to fix minor league players' salaries.  I wrote about the case (Miranda v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball) on Monday over at the baseball statistical analysis website FanGraphs.  Here is an excerpt of my piece:
The Miranda suit alleges that MLB unlawfully suppresses minor league players’ salaries in a variety of ways. By subjecting North American amateur players to the first-year player draft each June, Major League Baseball prevents draftees from selling their services to the highest bidder — instead forcing them to negotiate with only a single team. MLB then artificially reduces the size of the signing bonuses that entry level players receive through its domestic and international signing bonus pool restrictions.

Once players have entered the minor leagues, their annual salaries are then largely dictated on a take-it-or-leave-it basis by their teams in accordance with MLB-imposed, minor league salary “guidelines.” And because MLB teams retain the exclusive rights to their minor league players’ services for seven years, many players go their entire careers without ever being able to sell their services in a competitive market. As a result, the suit asserts that most minor league players earn as little as $3,000 to $7,500 per year.
The full piece is available here.


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