The Blue Jays are ready to embrace change, finalizing minor-league pay increase of more than 50 percent, according to Emily Walden & Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic. This is a big, important, potential first domino in what could (should) lead to more teams following suit.
The story follows a March 15th article by Walden highlighting the struggle of minor leaguers affording to stay in the game titled, ‘I can’t afford to play this game’: Minor-leaguers open up about the realities of their pay, and its impact on their lives. This is a really tremendous piece from Walden, bringing the reality that minor leaguers have and the struggle it is to make this as a career at the current pay structure.
A note from the Editor: In a world where the majority of baseball punditry focuses on the Collective Bargaining Agreement that is set for negotiations for 2021, an increase in minor league pay has the potential to impact many more players’ lives and is worthy of our attention.
Before we focus on how to make millionaires’ lives more equitable, let’s give a living wage to every person who works in this $10 billion sport.
MLB Preview: Which Team Will Be The Biggest Surprise In 2019? - Baseball America: Despite winning 90 games last year, the Rays still seem to be overlooked by many, so them being good would surprise the masses.
Pham: Rays will be ‘a force’ in 2019 - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: Tommy Pham knows the league aren’t surprised by the Rays young and talented team.
What are those black boxes and sports-bra like vests? Part of Rays’ venture into high-tech world - Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times: Brave new world of tech! Check out one of the rare looks we’ll get behind the scenes at what the Rays have been up to, particularly in the last three years.
’Comfortable’ Beeks eyes Opening Day roster - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: The lefty the Rays received in the Nate Eovaldi trade has looked good this spring, and seems poised to take the next step.
Blake Snell salary situation reveals the best and worst of the Rays - John Romano offers a Sunday Times take on the Rays $5,500 increase given to Cy Young winner Blake Snell; meanwhile Marc Topkin has the response from the Player’s Union on the situation, noting:
But, with the sides headed toward a potentially onerous negotiation regarding financial structure in 2021 (if not sooner), the union deserves some blame for agreeing to the current system, which also has led to marginalizing the value of some veteran players.
Topkin also has some good quotes about the bullpen battle:
#Rays Cash mentions good pitching by both Wood and Pagan, who may be competing for a final spot in bullpen: "Good thing we've got another 10 days or so to decide.''— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 17, 2019
Cole Sulser, acquired from #Indians with Diaz for Bauers and $5M, with his 5th scoreless outing, has 9 Ks and 0 walks in 5.1 spring innings. "The slider's a weapon,'' Cash said. "Very, very interesting guy.''— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 17, 2019
Around the League
Former Rays reliever Brandon Gomes has been promoted to Assistant GM in LA, as has brief Rays player Will Rhymes:
Dodgers promote Brandon Gomes to Vice President & Assistant General Manager, Will Rhymes to Director of Player Development, Alex Slater to Director of Baseball Operations and Duncan Webb to Director of Baseball Resources. They still don't have a general manager.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 17, 2019
Source: The Dodgers promoted farm director Brandon Gomes to an assistant general manager role. It has been a fast rise for Gomes, who was pitching as recently as 2016.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) March 17, 2019
Carlos Santana was so livid that his Phillies teammates played Fortnite during games in 2018 that he grabbed a bat and smashed a TV. With an overhauled team that includes Bryce Harper, what have the Phillies done to address their clubhouse? Story at ESPN: https://t.co/vXFgetp5Of pic.twitter.com/tou1coHToL— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 18, 2019
This is so good. I signed with the Twins in 1996 (yes 96) and my check was $850 a month. After they took out hotel and food (non negotiable) I received $122 every 2 weeks. It really hasnt changed. https://t.co/sc7pRDQ78j— Peter Moylan (@PeterMoylan) March 18, 2019
It’s Big Ball Chunky Time
Major League Baseball’s Korean marketing campaign is incredible pic.twitter.com/8uSPLZM7wg— Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler) March 17, 2019
I simply cannot understand how Bartolo Colon remains unsigned in this era of Big Ball Chunky Time.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 17, 2019
Explanation on the "It's Big Ball Chunky Time" on the MLB Korea ad:— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) March 17, 2019
"Big Ball Chunky" are the new line of shoes announced by the MLB Korea fashion brand. "Big ball" is a bit of a baseball term and "chunky" is... well, these shoes definitely do look chunky. pic.twitter.com/6VwqVCRkU1