Major League Baseball issued the following statement this afternoon regarding the bipartisan legislation introduced in the United States House of Representatives:
"There are approximately 7,500 players in Minor League Baseball. MLB pays over a half a billion dollars to Minor League players in signing bonuses and salary each year. Minor League clubs could not afford these massive player costs. MLB heavily subsidizes Minor League Baseball by providing Minor League clubs with its players, allowing professional baseball to be played in many communities in the United States that cannot support a Major League franchise. Moreover, for the overwhelming majority of individuals, being a Minor League Baseball player is not a career but a short-term seasonal apprenticeship in which the player either advances to the Major Leagues or pursues another career.
"Minor League Baseball players always have been salaried employees similar to artists, musicians and other creative professionals who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. Like those professionals, it is simply impractical to treat professional athletes as hourly employees whose pay may be determined by such things as how long their games last, when they choose to arrive at the ballpark, how much they practice or condition to stay in shape, and how many promotional or charitable appearances they make."