MLB argues for no minor league pay during spring training

A Major League Baseball lawyer said in federal court Friday that minor league players shouldn’t be paid during spring training, according to a report by Evan Drellich of Athleticism.

The attorney said minor leaguers shouldn’t be paid because they should be considered interns.

The talking point was part of a larger argument for MLB as the league seeks to have an eight-year lawsuit over minor league compensation thrown out. MLB is a defendant in a class action lawsuit set to begin trial June 1.

“It is the players who derive the greatest benefit from the training opportunities available to them than the clubs, who in fact only bear the cost of this training,” said Elise Bloom, the legal representative of Major League Baseball. .

“During the practice season, players are not employees and would not be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act or any state minimum wage law.”

Garrett Broshuis, attorney for Korein Tillery, is a former minor league player who serves as the players’ legal representative. Broshuis pushed back against Bloom’s claim.

“All of a sudden they’re no longer employees during the times when we call it ‘training’, even though they’re operating under the same employment contract that requires them to provide services, quotes, ‘throughout the calendar year'” says Broshuis.

Arguments made in court Friday against minor leaguers’ pay are an extension of statements made by MLB officials in court last year.

A year ago, Denise Martin, senior vice president of NERA Economic Consulting, wrote to the court on behalf of MLB. Martin said players participating in spring training receive a weekly value of $2,200 from their teams.

“This figure is an estimate of the costs the plaintiffs would have had to incur had they attended a baseball prospecting camp instead of attending the minor leagues,” Martin said at the time.

Bloom, who represented MLB in court on Friday, said in an argument against paying players last year that players “learned generally beneficial life skills from their time in the minor leagues.”

It’s important to note that while the owners and the MLB Players Association continue to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement that will inevitably impact player pay, the agreement will not directly impact minor league players. , as the minor leagues are not part of the MLB Players Association.

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