Life as a minor league player (Gold)
If there’s any financial motivation at all, it’s to reach the big leagues. Nobody gets rich at the minor league level, even most minor league free agents. So, in real world terms, just how little do players who haven’t reached minor league free agency make? They’d make more flipping burgers or working at a gas station than playing baseball. Some players might make just as much if they weren’t playing at all.
In all five states — Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina — where the Yankees top minor league affiliates are housed, the average weekly unemployment check is $425.80, which translates to a monthly take of $1703.20.
From May to August, where games are scheduled nearly every day, players on the Trenton Thunder were asked to be at the ballpark an average of 28 days per month. For an average night game played at 7 PM, many players report at 12 PM to lift weights and do various early work (drills, early hitting, etc.). With the average game lasting nearly three hours, players are on the clock ten hours a day, which translates to 280 hours over the course of an average month.
In those same five states, the hourly minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. For a player making the Double-A minimum of $1,700 a month, he’ll earn $6.07 an hour while on the job.