Former Miami Marlin Sues, Says Team Pays Minor Leaguers Less Than Minimum Wage
A former Marlins player wants to change the discrepancy between how much the pros and the minor leaguers get paid by MLB. The fact that the big-timers make ungodly amounts of money is no shock, but what Aaron Senne alleges in a recent lawsuit is sort of comical. The first baseman says he made less than minimum wage between 2010 and 2013 as a pro baseball player.
Minor league players are not unionized, and thus can be taken advantage of by MLB fatcats, Senne claims. He's the lead plaintiff in a case that he hopes to make into a class action one.
Apparently, he and his fellow minor leaguers were only paid during championship season, but were expected to work spring training, extended spring training, instructional league, conditioning and winter training without compensation. When he was drafted by the Marlins into a short-season A league, he was making about $1,100 a month and working 50 hours per week.
According to Florida law in 2010, Senne could have made $18,850 working that many hours at a McDonalds. The MLB -- who had him under an exclusive contract for seven seasons -- paid him $13,200. The highest paid Marlin for that year was Nate Robertson, who made a cool $10,000,000 salary.
This abuse of new players is a well-kept secret. Garret Broshuis, one of Senne's attorneys, told ABCNews.com that the issue is only "talked about in locker rooms." The former Marlin and his two co-defendants, Michael Liberto and Oliver Olde, are hoping to bring the issue into public light.
Although he was an all-star during his time at the University of Missouri, Senne contended with elbow injuries throughout his career. He retired in 2013.
Major League Baseball can apparently get away with treating minor players as serfs, because they hold the key to the highest levels of the sport. People will put up with substandard conditions for a shot at the majors.
For instance: The lawsuit also alleges that some minor league players are so poor that they have to sleep on fans' couches. Darren Aronofsky should take note, in case he's looking for a filmic companion piece to The Wrestler.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.