Shin-Soo Choo Stepping Up To Pay Minor Leaguers
There are 191 minor leaguers in the Texas Rangers farm system. With comes 191 players who have no idea when or if they are going to be paid by the Texas Rangers. At this moment, Major League Baseball has dictated teams pay minor leaguers $400/week through the end of May, and they will be receiving medical benefits as part of the plan.
It’s something, but it is really not enough. These are players who really don’t get a living wage as it is, and they are going to be more financially strapped than they typically are. With the state of the world, it is not like they can just seek outside employment easily to help cover their bills.
No, minor league players are heading into a scary time, and their employers worth billions of dollars are not leaving them with any assurances.
Knowing this and having experienced struggling financially as a minor league player, Shin-Soo Choo has sent $1,000 to each of the 190 players in the Texas Rangers farm system. If nothing else, that’s an extra two-and-a-half weeks salary for these players.
In doing this, Choo said, “I know right now the minor league system is better than 15-20 years ago, but still tough. Everything’s very difficult, especially money-wise.” (ESPN).
As noted in the ESPN article, when he was thanked by Texas Rangers utility minor league infielder Eli White, Choo responded by saying, “Eli don’t worry about money. Just keep playing baseball. Let me know if you need something more.”
As if this gesture wasn’t enough, Choo is also donating $200,000 to help fight COVID19 in Daegu, South Korea, a city which has been hit hard by the pandemic and is an hour away from his hometown. In total, that’s $390,000 from Choo at a time when he is in the last year of his contract. With his turning 38 this year, it may be his last year before retirement.
To a certain extent, you can’t help but contrast this with what the Wilpons have done. It appears they have informed ballpark employees they may not be employed by the club this year. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post also reported SNY stopped paying freelance and production workers despite the fact SNY is still receiving their network cable fees.
The Mets are not alone in this as other teams have begun taking measures to inform their employees they are going to be terminated. There are also teams who are releasing minor leaguers meaning that they don’t have to pay those players at all.
These are not normal times, and there are people whose livelihoods and lives are going to be dramatically impacted by this pandemic. There are people like Shin-Soo Choo who are stepping up and doing what they can to help people. Then, there are people like the Wilpons who are not.