Making the playoffs is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but one that isn’t talked about very frequently is the extra payday it means for players -- especially those who aren’t making millions.
The Milwaukee Brewers earned a players’ share pool of $10,582,636.02 for finishing as the runners-up in the National League. According to Mark Feinsand, the Brewers players voted to award 64 full shares, a little more than 21 partial shares and four other cash awards from that pool. That works out to about a $122,957 bonus for the 64 players voted full shares.
MLB has announced postseason share info. The Red Sox earned $416,837.72 per share, while the Dodgers received $262,027.49 per share. pic.twitter.com/NMEAIhUVyD— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 26, 2018
The money doesn’t cost the team anything extra, but instead comes from the players’ share of ticket sales from playoff games:
The players’ pool is formed from 50 percent of the gate receipts from the Wild Card Games; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship Series; and 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the World Series. The players’ pool was divided among the 10 Postseason Clubs: the two World Series participants, the two League Championship Series runners-up, the four Division Series runners-up and the two runners-up in the Wild Card Games.
While that $123,000 maybe doesn’t mean much to guys like Ryan Braun who made $20 million this year, it does for a bunch of role players who may have only played minor roles for the team this year, but were voted full shares anyway.
We don’t know which players received full shares, but with that many awarded, it might be safe to assume anyone that appeared in a major league game for the Brewers this season got one. That includes minor leaguers like Nate Orf or Aaron Wilkerson, who have been playing in the minor leagues for years making next to nothing. Or prospects like Jacob Nottingham, who may have bigger paydays ahead of them, but know nothing’s guaranteed. Or guys like postseason folk hero Erik Kratz, who’s 38 years old and whose career earnings barely crack $2 million.
For some of those guys like Orf, who may never get to the big leagues again or ever #GetThatPension, that might be the most money they ever make playing a game they’ve loved since they were a kid.
It’s totally up to the players in the clubhouse how they want to split up that pool of money, and the Brewers awarded 8 more shares than their American League runner-up counterparts Houston did. The Yankees players, who also had a smaller pool to work with, voted for the fewest amount of full player shares with 45, but did dole out almost 21.5 additional partial shares.