Marlins Minor Leaguers Detail Struggle to Find Housing on Salary

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 1, 2021

Members of the grounds crew prepare the infield at loanDepot park before the opening day baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins, Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)
AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas

Stories have continued to emerge about the difficult conditions that minor league baseball players endure while trying to make it to the big leagues.

The latest one is courtesy of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, who shared texts from three minor leaguers in the Marlins organization about their housing situations.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers @MiLBAdvocates

These are texts we received from Miami Marlins players at three different Minor League affiliates.<br><br>The Marlins must address this. <a href="https://t.co/kgrvJtQ9aE">pic.twitter.com/kgrvJtQ9aE</a>

Minor leaguers face difficult housing scenarios because of low pay. Advocates for Minor Leaguers says that most players make under $7,500 per year. In addition, they play for free during spring training.

Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic also summarized takes on the housing situation firsthand from over 30 minor leaguers.

"The Athletic spoke to more than 30 players from 20 major-league organizations, ranging from undrafted free agents to first-round picks with big-league experience, about their housing travails, past and present.
"Players detailed living out of their cars, dealing with roach-infested apartments and piling multiple teammates in one- or two-bedroom apartments, with some men sleeping on lawn chairs, pool rafts or air mattresses.
"With rare exceptions, minor-league players—who are paid only seasonally—are responsible for procuring and paying for temporary housing for a five-month season. Players get assigned a team, often at the very end of spring training, and get three nights—in a hotel paid for by the team—to travel there and figure out where to live."

Some franchises have taken better care of minor leaguers in regard to housing, with Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post providing some examples in a July 16 piece:

"The Houston Astros have tried to relieve some of the financial burdens on their minor leaguers by providing housing. The New York Yankees offer housing stipends to players in the Florida Complex League that extend beyond the competitive season, and they cover housing for their High Class A Hudson Valley team. The Philadelphia Phillies offer housing stipends to minor leaguers."

However, there are numerous examples of players from various organizations facing significant struggles in the present day or recent years, including the Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles.

Starting this year, minor league baseball underwent a complete restructure. There are now just four levels of minor league ball (Triple-A, Double-A, High Single-A and Low Single-A), with each of the 30 MLB teams overseeing an affiliate for each system.