This Past Deal By Fernando Tatis Jr. Will Cost Him Millions | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
Three years ago, a minor leaguer in the San Diego Padres organization signed a deal with a company in order to have some money in his pocket. That same player, Fernando Tatis, Jr., just signed one of the richest contracts in Major League Baseball history, but has many asking if the deal he signed previously is a good idea or should be banned due to the ramifications. Let’s take a look at the kind of deal Tatis signed in the past, figure out who is to blame, and if it should be outlawed.
During the 2017 Minor League Baseball season, Fernando Tatis, Jr. played all but 14 of his games at the Class A level. It was during the 2017-18 offseason that Tatis signed a deal with a company called Big League Advance, which combed the minor leagues, and with the help of analytics, tries to find the future stars of Major League Baseball and either help them out or take advantage of them, depending upon your point of view.
Big League Advance helps minor leagues players out if they are deemed worthy by the company by offering a cash payout for those who only make as little as $1300/month as Tatis was in 2017.
Tatis, despite being a bonus baby who was given a $700,000 when signed by the Chicago White Sox, needed more since his bonus went towards his health, offseason conditioning program, and living expenses. Something none of the minor leaguers have paid for by their employers.
In short, why Tatis and many others need to deal with companies like Big League Advance is because of how badly they are exploited by Major League organizations when they are paid below minimum wage during the season. So, now that we know why Tatis was forced into signing his deal, let’s see if the deal is fair for minor league players and how it, perhaps, can be improved upon.
According to the company’s website, Big League Advance is willing to pay minor leagues amounts beginning at $50,000 to upwards of $500,000 … the catch is that the more the minor leaguer accepts, the more they need to pay the company later on if/when the reach the majors. $50,000 means that 1% of all career earning that player makes once he reaches the pros belongs to Big League Advance, with the deal calling for a 10% cut of all future earnings of a half million advance is provided. The only risk that the company is taking is if the player doesn’t reach the majors, that’s because they get nothing for their investment in that case.
As Michael Schwimer, the president of Big League Advance puts it, “I tell every investor, ‘If you invest in the stock market and you lose, you’re losing money on Apple stock … If you invest in Big League Advance and lose, you have changed someone’s life.”
It is Jared Diamond from the Wall Street Journal who has reported Tatis will need to provide $27.2 Million of his $340 Million contract to Big League Advance, an 8% share of the total contract.
I would wish that if a player signed a mega nine-figure deal as Tatis did that the percentage would go down (and maybe it did, I don’t know), hopefully a lot of that $27.2 Million will help out young minor leaguers who never make the big leagues, since Major League Baseball chooses to see them more as cheap labor than prized athletes who, with the proper investment could turn into pro players or may even coaches somewhere down the road.
Big League Advance is providing a service while also taking a risk, just as Major League teams do when they sign players from other countries or out of American high schools and colleges. Who is the biggest devil in this case is easier to see since the company is selective with who they help, while MLB looks for a large volume of players, and will allow those who can to rise, and those who can’t to fall.
MLB created this system where minor league players are broke, with Big League Advance taking advantage of the system. They are both exploiting young baseball players, but at least with the company, those who don’t make it have a better chance after the fact. Because what MLB does for minor leaguers is worthless, and is why their empire should be torn down by labor laws.
The life of Fernando Tatis, Jr. changed forever last week, but wasn’t hurt by the knowledge of needing to give $27.2 Million to people who believed in him. It’s too bad that the MLB owners don’t need to take any of their money during the life of his contract and reinvest it in the health of their players with better food plans and the upgrading of their minor league fields, maybe then a few more stars will be born, and it will be easier to find more teams who want to win, rather than just make a profit without a care in the world for their players.
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This Past Deal By Fernando Tatis Jr. Will Cost Him Millions | TooAthletic.com
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