Here’s something I frankly did not know but certainly makes sense: getting added to a team’s 40-man roster, as happened today for seven Twins prospects, isn’t just a matter of prestige or getting one step closer to realizing a dream of making it to the majors.
It also comes with a nice bump in pay. I noticed Seth Stohs, who does a great job writing about the Twins and their minor leaguers, tweeting about it earlier today.
And per this equally informative site run by baseball agent/attorney Jeff Blank, we can see the particulars. These figures are a couple of years old but still in the right ballpark: per the site, players not on 40-man rosters from rookie ball through Double-A make roughly $1,200 to $1,800 per month, with slight increases in subsequent seasons at the same level. Class AAA players not on the 40-man roster make between $2,000 and $3,000 a month depending on how long they’ve been at that level.
So Adam Brett Walker, who hit 31 home runs in his first season at Class AA last season, probably made a little more than $1,700 per month in 2015. But now that he’s on the 40-man roster, his salary jumps to more than $40,000 a year. And if he’s on the 40-man roster but in the minors again the next year, his salary jumps to more than $80,000.
Now, none of this approaches the major league minimum salary of roughly $500K, but still it’s a pretty significant increase.