Advocates for Minor Leaguers (a.k.a MiLB Advocates) a group founded by former SF Giants prospect Garrett Broshuis, revealed on Thursday that only 11 organizations were paying salaries to players at extended spring training. Of the 11 franchises, the Colorado Rockies were the lone team from the NL West paying players in extended camp. Neither Bay Area franchise, the Giants or Oakland Athletics, had been paying players, according to the tweet.
Extended spring training is traditionally used to help injured minor leaguers rehab from severe injuries and for young prospects that may not be ready to play for full season affiliates to have a place to practice and improve in gamelike settings with team coaches. However, as MiLB Advocates has often pointed out, almost every minor league contract only pays players if they are on an affiliate’s regular season roster, often leaving players at extended spring training in limbo.
The SF Giants will now pay players who participate in extended spring training and give back pay to players this season.
Alex Shultz of SFGate reached out to the Giants and A’s following the tweet and within 24 hours, the Giants had changed course, deciding to give players at extended camp a salary. Shultz also learned that the franchise would give all the players at extended camp in 2021 back pay for the season. Issues of minor league player pay are not new in professional baseball. In fact, the lack of income for players during spring training has been well documented. Nevertheless, even if it is late, the change in policy should have a positive impact on dozens of Giants prospects this year and beyond.
While it would have been preferable for the SF Giants to have already been paying players at extended spring training, when the organization was called out, they responded by changing their previous policies and giving players back pay for the 2021 season. Hopefully, the Giants take a more proactive approach in other areas of player compensation.