Trade that should happen: Mets get Snyder

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Mets get: Chris Snyder

Diamondbacks get: Nick Evans and Eddie Kunz

Why it should happen:

While Snyder has been sidelined with a lower back strain, Miguel
Montero has been a house-of-fire, batting .380 with five homers and 14
RBI in July. He’s been so good that Snyder may be relegated to a bench role when he returns from the disabled list later this week.

“Snydes is still rehabbing so I still
have a few days to mull over what I’m going to do, said manager A.J.
Hinch. “But he’s (Montero) certainly staked his claim to significant
playing time.”

Snyder, 28, just signed a contract extension with the Diamondbacks over
the winter. He’s owed a little less than $1.5 million for the rest of
2009, $4.75 million in 2010 and $5.75 million in 2011. His contract
includes a club option in 2012 for $6.75 million, with a $750,000
buyout.

Meanwhile, Brian Schneider is in the last year of his deal with the
Mets. The Mets have no real major-league ready catchers in their
system, as Josh Thole, while batting .337/.405/.441 with Double-A
Binghamton, is still fine-tuning his skills as a backstop. There isn’t
much hope among impending free agents (Bengie Molina, Ramon Hernandez,
etc.).

Snyder would give the Mets a young catcher with fine defensive
skills (he has thrown out 32.7% of would-be basestealers in his career
and managed a perfect fielding percentage in 2008), who projects as a
20-homer guy from the right side of the plate with a full season of
at-bats (.737 career OPS).

As for the Diamondbacks, they would get a 21-year-old power bat who
has crushed lefties to the tune of a .919 OPS in the minors. He could
contribute at first base or the outfield as soon as this season.
Meanwhile, Kunz is a supreme groundball pitcher (67.4% in the minors),
who can ably step in if the Diamondbacks decide to trade Jon Rauch
and/or Chad Qualls. Considering how much Snyder is being paid, the Mets
might not even have to give up this much.

Will it happen?

Probably not before the deadline, but Snyder is sure to be dealt before next season.

Minor League Baseball teams sold over $70 million in merchandise in 2017

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Every so often here, we discuss the criminally low pay of Minor League Baseball players. Most of them make less than $7,500 a year, which includes the regular season as well as spring training, playoffs, and offseason training. The abysmal pay forces minor leaguers to eat unhealthy food, live in cramped quarters, and forego consistent, quality sleep, among other things.

What makes this situation worse is that Minor League Baseball is a huge money-maker for their parent teams in Major League Baseball. Josh Norris of Baseball America reported yesterday that Minor League Baseball teams sold $70.8 million in merchandise in 2017. That represented a 3.6 percent increase over the previous record set in 2016. This is just merchandise. Now think about concession and ticket sales.

Minor League Baseball COO Brian Earle said, “Minor League Baseball team names and logos continue to be among the most popular in all of professional sports, and our teams have made promoting their brand a priority for their respective organizations. The teams have done a tremendous job of using their team marks and logos to build an identity that is appealing to fans not just locally, but in some cases, globally as well.”

You may recall that Major League Baseball had been lobbying Congress to pass legislation exempting minor league players from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Doing so classified baseball players as seasonal workers, which means they are not entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. That legislation passed earlier this year. Minor League Baseball generates profits hand over fist and it is now legally protected from having to share that with the labor that produced it.

Many points of divergence led us to this point, but the question is how do we change it? Minor leaguers are routinely taken advantage of because they don’t have a union. Compare the minors in baseball to the minors in hockey, where minor leaguers have a union. As SB Nation’s Marc Normandin pointed out last month, the minimum salary for American Hockey League players is $45,000 and the average salary is $118,000. They receive a playoff share of around $20,000, and receive health insurance that covers themselves as well as their families. Furthermore, the minor league hockey players’ per diem is $74, about three times as much as minor league baseball players’ per diem of $25.

Major League Baseball and its 30 teams have shown no inclination towards treating minor league players simply out of moral obligation or good will, so the minor leaguers need union coverage to force their conditions to improve. This could be as simple as the MLBPA expanding its coverage to the minor leagues because, after all, some minor leaguers do become major leaguers, right? Or the minor leaguers could themselves create a union. It’s easy to say, but tougher to do, which is why they still don’t have a union.

At any rate, every fan of baseball should be enraged when they read that Minor League Baseball keeps setting records year after year when it comes to selling hats and t-shirts, then refuses to share any of that wealth with the labor responsible for it. It’s morally reprehensible.