Big league bump: The MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays score a big raise for their minor leaguers

As companies like Big League Advance emerge to help minor league baseball players put food on the table, the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to raise salaries for their minor league prospects by as much as 50%.

March 19, 2019

It’s been well-documented how poorly pro-hopefuls in minor league ball are treated on their road to the show. Why? Because they’re literally paid in Cracker Jacks… OK, figuratively.

According to NPR, most minor leaguers make an estimated $7.5k a year, compared to the average Major Leaguer’s salary of more than $4m.

Now, according to The Athletic, Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays plan to increase the salaries of their minor league players by roughly 50%.

Following the basepath of innovation

Thanks to innovations from companies like Big League Advance (BLA), the tide is starting to change, inspiring some of the league’s heavy hitters (like the Jays) to step up to the plate.

In the same way Lambda School offers tuition-free data science and coding courses for a slice of future paychecks, BLA offers minor leaguers lump-sum payments in exchange for a negotiated share of any future MLB salary.

So far, 123 prospects have signed contracts with the company, with plans to sign hundreds more, spelling out just how desperate players are for financial stability.

Some ‘inside baseball’

By bringing this to the forefront of the MLB, the Toronto Blue Jays are positioning themselves as an organization ready to embrace change.

Now, away from influential outside entities like BLA, the Jays will be able to help set the tone for the rest of the ball clubs in the league.

“It puts us right now up at the top of the scale in the industry,” Jays VP of baseball operations Ben Cherington said. “My hope is it doesn’t stay that way. My hope is other teams eventually do the same.

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