MLB’s Wokman’s Comp Is Pretty Good

Let’s be honest, we all wish we were professional athletes. Maybe not for the working hours. Maybe not for the travel. Maybe not even for the game. But we all would do it for the money. Professional athletes get ludicrous salaries. Some of them are guaranteed money which means they don’t have to perform at any level and they still get paid. I wish I could get raises based on previous performance and then not have to continue to deliver that level any longer.

If that doesn’t make you jealous or think professional sports business is a little upside down, then let me tell you about a little loophole that allows teams to roster more players but makes MLB look like it may have the best workman’s compensation policy on the planet.

If a player on the 40-man roster gets injured, ideally the team would like to be able to replace that team member so that they can replenish the 25-man roster without having to kick the injured player off the roster and run the risk of losing that player to another team. So, because of a slight loop hole, the team can add that player to the big league 25-man roster and then place him on the 60 day DL. This allows this player to stay on the 40-man roster and since he is now on the DL, the team can then add another player to the 40-man roster.

So what does that mean? Why am I even bring this up? Well, for that injured player being transitioned from the 40-man roster to the 25-man roster, he is now considered a professional level MLB player, so he has to be paid the MLB minimum salary. That’s a pretty good compensation. His base salary is going to jump from 5 digits to almost 7 digits. Just look at Burch Smith of the Tampa Bay Rays. He was a minor leaguer making about $80k and then had the dreaded Tommy John surgery (which is an epidemic in the MLB these days). The Rays wanted to keep him on the 40-man roster so they promoted him the the 25-man roster and put him on the DL. This gave Burch Smith a workmans comp of $500k which is 500% more than his season starting salary.

I will sign up for tommy john surgery right now if it means I get 1 year off of work and I make 500% more than I do now during that time. I think all of us would. And if you are shaking your head as if you wouldn’t, then you are lying to me and yourself.

I don’t blame the industry to give back to the players that have helped the game build a fan base. But how about giving some of that money back to the fans. Ticket prices are outrageous and the majority of the fan base can’t afford to experience as many live games as they would want to. How about lowering ticket prices which unfortunately lowers teams’ incomes, but it will lower the lucrative player contracts. Teams will still be able to make money and maybe even more money if the fans walking into the stadium had more money in their pockets from lower ticket prices to spend on team apparel, food, beverages, etc. As an avid fan, I can only dream that someday I will be lucky enough to be able to afford to go to a World Series game.

Category: Baseball Nonsense  Tags: ,
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