Two minor league players for the Los Angeles Angels officially described what they called improper treatment of players within the organization, including paying salaries too low for players to live.
Kieran Lovegrove, a pitcher for Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas, said money is so tight that gamers are grappling with a “serious mental health crisis” over making ends meet. He added that he lived with six companions in a three-bedroom apartment where one of the players sleeps in the kitchen. Lovegrove told ESPN’s Joon Lee:
“It has gotten to the point where there are guys who are in a serious mental health crisis because of how stressful money is here. I really think it affects not only his game on the field, but it also affects the quality of life in general. We’re getting to a point where this is really becoming detrimental to players’ overall health, and the owner isn’t addressing it. [the organization] actively saying that they don’t care about the health of their players. “
Shane Kelso, a former 66ers Low-A Inland Empire pitcher, said he retired earlier in the season due to the players’ living conditions. He said the Angels paid him $ 1,600 a month, which was less than his monthly rent, adding that some teammates were living out of cars for lack of money. He said his situation was similar to that of many of his teammates, as the vast majority of minor league players are not the best options and did not get big bonuses for signing.
Both players also said that access to quality food was a problem for minor league players. Kelso said the organization told players to consume between 3,500 and 4,500 calories per day, but always between 800 and 1200. Lovegrove added that some teammates had their bodies broken because they turned to fast food, which was not nutritious enough to maintain muscle mass.
Lovegrove accused the owner of the Angels, Arte Moreno of not “(giving) as – on the winning side” of a minor league system and cited the lack of players that the Angels’ system has produced in recent years. He contrasted it with time spent in Cleveland’s minor league system, where the team provided players with three meals a day and renovated weight rooms for minor league players. Lovegrove said:
“It’s frustrating when you’re sitting in the corral and you hear the guys just dwell on how bad the property is and how bad the organization is because you don’t want the guys to be in a place where they are not happy. Is Moreno completely disconnected from the reality of what it is to be a player? Probably. I don’t see that that really changes because I don’t know if he really cares as much about the quality of the organization as the amount of money it produces. “
Los Angeles General Manager Perry Minasian called the reported treatment “unacceptable” and said the team would look into it.
The treatment of minor league players has been a hot topic in recent years, particularly after the entire 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic. Some owners tried to eliminate payments to minor league players during that period, only to backtrack. amid criticism from the public and even MLB players. A story like this will only rekindle that scrutiny.