Chicago Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay recently complained via Twitter about the payment for members of the taxi squad during MLB's shortened season, and while the tweets have been deleted, team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Friday that he agrees with the pitcher.
"The fact still remains that minor-league players are underpaid," Epstein told reporters, according to 670 The Score's Chris Emma. "It's not an ideal situation for them. But on top of what's being provided from the meal money and the salaries, two meals a day at the ballpark, and the housing, there's also a full staff of people that are putting themselves in harm's way to really make sure the players are well taken care of - their health, their safety, and also their comfort. And that staff has really done a phenomenal job of taking care of the players."
Epstein also said that he didn't ask Alzolay to delete the tweets, according to Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune.
Alzolay's tweets reportedly stated that members of the taxi squad were paid $18 per day and were left with $10 of that after accounting for "dues" and tipping clubhouse staff, according to Tim Stebbins of Yahoo! Sports. Stebbins reported that the per-diem payment for players on the taxi squad is $25 with no additional dues deducted.
"Clubhouse dues are not being taken out of pay. Clubhouse dues are not expected to be paid by the players right now," Epstein said Friday, according to Emma. "Adbert, he was off on the amount of meal money that players are receiving."
Alzolay, 25, is considered one of the best pitching prospects in the Cubs' system and made his MLB debut last year, posting a 7.30 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. The right-hander allowed six earned runs on seven hits and four walks over five innings this past spring while striking out five.