Underpaid Minor Leaguers Raise Tweet From Mets Owner Steve Cohen in Lawsuit Against MLB
November 2, 2021
A tweet from New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is being used against Major League Baseball in a lawsuit by minor league players suing MLB for back pay. The class action suit filed seven years ago is scheduled to go to trial next June.
“Education time – Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5x their slot value to clubs. I never shy away from investments that can make me that type of return,” Cohen, who bought the Mets for $2.4 billion last year, wrote in a tweet on Aug. 1.
The minor leaguers hired Cornell University’s Dr. Erica Groshen to write a report showcasing their allegations of MLB paying sub-minimum wage salaries. Goshen, a senior economic advisor at Cornell’s school of industrial and labor relations, cited Cohen’s tweet in her report to a federal judge on Friday, according to The Athletic.
“One recent indication of the value of a minor league player comes from Steven Cohen, owner of the New York Mets. He asserts that baseball draft picks are worth up to five times their slot value to Clubs,” reads the report.
Last month, MLB agreed to require teams to provide housing for minor league players, starting in 2022. Salaries increased for minor leaguers last season, with the minimum weekly pay going from $290 to $500 at Class A, $350 to $600 in Double-A and $502 to $700 in Triple-A.
In the ongoing lawsuit, MLB argues it does not have to follow federal or state minimum wage laws for paying minor leaguers because the league considers them to be seasonal employees.