Angels GM Perry Minasian Says Team Will Address Treatment of Minor League Players

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2021

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: A detailed view of the Los Angeles Angels logo painted on the grass at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 21, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The treatment of minor league baseball players has become a serious concern across the sport, and Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian said the organization will "address it" in the near future. 

"What is being reported is unacceptable, and we will look into it and address it," Minasian said, per Joon Lee of ESPN.

Pitcher Kieran Lovegrove of the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas said he and six other teammates are living together in a three-bedroom apartment, with one person sleeping in the kitchen.

Shane Kelso retired because of the living conditions he faced as a member of the Low-A Inland Empire 66ers and said four teammates lived in a camper van in a trailer park, while others lived in cars.

Lovegrove noted that he worked for Lyft, Uber, UPS and Best Buy during the offseason as a way of making more money:

"It's gotten to the point now where there are guys who are in a serious mental health crisis because of how stressful money is here. I really do think it affects not only their play on the field, but I think it affects quality of life overall. We're reaching a point now where this is actually becoming detrimental to the players' overall health and the owner not addressing it is [the organization] actively saying that they don't care about the health of their players."

Lovegrove also lamented the poor quality of food and nutrition while expressing frustration at owner Arte Moreno and others in the ownership group:

"It's frustrating when you're sitting in the pen and you're hearing guys just harp about how bad the ownership is and how bad the organization is because you don't want guys to be somewhere that they are unhappy. Is Moreno completely out of touch with the reality of what it's like to be a player? Probably. I don't see that really changing because I don't know that he really does care about the quality of the organization so much as the amount of money it produces."

This comes after Alex Shultz of SF Gate reported players on the Stockton Ports, which is a Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, are losing money during long homestands this year because the host families that typically house them cannot because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the organization covers hotel fees for road trips, it does not for homestands. Therefore, players who are staying in hotels for home games are at times paying more than their paychecks have covered.

The Twitter account Advocates for Minor Leaguers also raised concerns about Bowie Baysox players sleeping in their cars and the quality of their meals:

Advocates for Minor Leaguers @MiLBAdvocates

(2/3) We’re told that members of the Baysox will receive ~$900 after taxes for their entire 2-week homestand and are on their own for housing beginning tomorrow at 11 AM. We’re told that some players simply cannot afford to spend roughly 80% of their paycheck on the team hotel.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers @MiLBAdvocates

Players in the Oakland A’s organization shared these photos of their recent post-game meals.<br><br>No employer would serve these meals to employees they care about. Why are the A’s serving them to their future Major Leaguers? <a href="https://t.co/cIFqiPg6iX">pic.twitter.com/cIFqiPg6iX</a>

It is notable that the working conditions for minor leaguers have made so many headlines this season and caught the attention of people like Minasian because the collective bargaining agreement expires prior to the 2022 campaign.

It would not be a surprise to see them addressed during the next round of negotiations.


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