Senators Question MLB On The Necessity For An Antitrust Exemption In Minor League Baseball

MLB: MLB-Draft
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

During a press conference before the All Star game on Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, “I kind of reject the premise of the question that minor league players are not paid a living wage.”

Manfred continued, “I think that we’ve made real strides in the last few years in terms of what minor league players are paid, even putting to one side the signing bonuses that many of them have already received. They receive housing, which obviously is another form of compensation.”

This remark comes as Senate Judiciary Committee leaders pressed baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday in a letter to explain the implications of prospective legislation that would revoke the sport’s antitrust exemption from protecting its connection with minor league players.

According to documents filed in federal court on Friday, MLB agreed to pay $185 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by minor leaguers. The league, in the settlement, agreed to lift any restrictions on teams paying minor league players outside of the season.

Senate Judiciary Committee leaders have requested Manfred to explain the implications of possible legislation by next Tuesday.

In the Senate Judiciary letter, it tells Manfred, “Your answers will help inform the Senate Judiciary Committee’s analysis of the necessity of this century-old exemption.”

To read the full Senate Judiciary Committee letter, click here. Credit to AP, who posted the letter.