Your minor league bonus is important because money is tight. Even more importantly, every dollar matters. This means keeping track of which list a Player was assigned is critical for proving up earned MiLB monetary incentives.
Thus, there is how you can help your Club comply with bonus payouts contractually owed.
Minor League Bonus System
Let us start with money first. Every MLB Club, under rule 3(c) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is required to pay out bonuses in the following amounts:
- $1,000 for a Class AA classification,
- $1,500 for a Class AAA classification, and
- $5,000 for the MLB level.
So you know, these dollar figures have changed over the years and are specifically identified in the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). This means the rules for past money or bonus payouts have been different in years past because the CBA changed.
Earning a Minor League Bonus: 90 Days and 60 Days
The rule for earning a bonus is fairly simple. Players are required to remain on an Active List for 90 calendar days (which is different from games). To the advantage of Players, the 90 day rule can be spread out. For example, getting assigned to and from a Club does not make the 90 day rule start over. Because Players are not required to be on the Active List for 90 consecutive days, calculating calendar days and keeping a MLB Club honest is important.
Also to the advantage of Players, being on the disabled list can help Players reach the 90 day threshold. However, this element of the rule only helps players upon accumulating 60 days on their MiLB active list.
On the other hand and the detriment of Players, days spent on an inactive list does NOT help Players reach the 90 threshold.
Negotiating a MiLB Bonus
At first glance, the CBA could be interpreted to support MLB Clubs the opportunity to negotiate a higher Minor League bonus plan. But, this opportunity gets crushed when the CBA later uses word “shall” and the following condition:
The amount of such incentive bonus payments and the classification in which they are to be pad shall be”
As a result, negotiating a higher MiLB incentive payment structure is unlikely in 2018. But, I certainly like to see drafted Players use their skill set to support higher payments for their signing bonus and continued education program.