Logan Logan, Logan Ice, Baseball discussed on Planet Money

Planet Money


To introduce you in this story with you -ASEBALL walkup music no no no no we don't need that now okay we we might do it to you anyway just warning you okay okay I I met Logan Ice at baseball spring training that's the practice time before baseball season starts you've been with the Indian three APP drafted by the Indians in two thousand sixteen s Logan is twenty four years old he plays catcher and he's built like a catcher he square and muscular picture like a nine volt back story with legs three years ago Logan was playing college baseball he was eligible to be drafted by Major League Baseball team and if you happen to turn on the TV on the night of the draft the baseball experts really liked Logan Logan is they saved one of the best all around catchers in this draft a switch hitting that you're always a tough to find what do you think of Osu's backstop these got savvy I think he's got athleticism and agility behind the plate like this is one of the better college catchers out there on Indians ended up drafting Logan they liked him so much they paid him an eight hundred fifty thousand dollar signing bonus which is a lot of money but if things went well for Logan he could make so much money that that bonus would look like birthday card cash they're big leaguers playing Logan's position right now who make twenty million dollars per year but the way this works new players like Logan don't go straight to Cleveland's main team the one you see on national TV the one where guys are making millions no logan had to go and prove himself he got tossed in with the hundreds of other players playing on the Cleveland Indians feeder teams they're they're minor league teams Logan got sent two teams like the Mahoning Valley scrappers the Lynchburg Hill cats the Akron rubber ducks where the salary is not millions and last year in Africa what was your living situation so I was living on the couch for a little while lived in the hotel for a little while they give you a couple of nights how much you making if you can divulge her give me a range of thinking. Hey I want to say it's around sixteen hundred Aa I think is what it comes out to be something like that that's sixteen hundred dollars a month but only during the season no pay for spring training no pay for the off season so logan salary is just around eight thousand dollars a year not eighty thousand eight thousand six is but that doesn't account for living that doesn't account for shipping your car out that doesn't account for food granted they feed you a couple of meals a day Logan and to some degree all minor leaguers are kind of like living breathing lottery tickets when they pay off and make the majors they pay off huge earn millions and millions of dollars but for the vast majority of minor league players that never happens they toil away in the minor the League's making Bupkus and most do not have a giant signing bonus you see baseball is a winner-take-all career there is a very small chance of making huge amounts of money but more importantly there is a huge chance of making almost no money and as far as logan ice knew those really the only two options but one day a couple of years ago he was at the batting cages practicing and he got this message on Lincoln Lincoln in as like some of those recruiters and stuff that you automated message like yeah like that long do you remember what it said though I could maybe pull it up but see what I got here so he said Hey Logan it's been a minute it's also a small world because I was in the message was from an old baseball friend someone he hadn't seen in a while so there was some small commiserating about a particular minor league assignment Logan and gotten sucks that you got stuck in Mahoning valley last year which that he's one hundred percent right anyways I wanted to reach out because Logan's old friend explained that he was working for this new company that had an idea for how players might be able to deal with this super uncertain take all salary situation his friends message said that this company will quote help baseball players financially by pooling risk and invest listing in each other so logan's reading this and he's thinking this sounds fishy yeah no I I was the first thing I tell them saying hello and welcome to planet money I'm Kenny Malone and I'm Tom Goldman Tom Goldman covers sports for NPR. I should you do and what if this pooling risk thing what if it is a thing what is a completely new way to look at not just baseball but any winter GEICO career today on the show an economic idea that could change the way baseball players and the rest of US think about how we get paid support for NPR comes from Newman's own foundation working to nourish the common good by donating all profits from Newman zone food products to charitable organizations that seek to make the world a better place more information is available at Newman's own foundation dot org should I call you Zach or should I call you Cowabunga or one zero it's much better you wrote on read it that the planet money newsletter is like meaning a noir detective in the parking garage for evidence exchange and incriminating photos can you confirm what's incriminating about the newsletter found some deep dark secret that once did you know how people sign up pure orgy slash planet my newsletter you nailed it all right the company that was sending in messages to try and get in touch with Logan ice is called Pando P. A. N. D. O. and here's a version of the pitch Pando was making to Logan let's actually you're a first round let's make the numbers bigger and more exciting your first round pick as a first round pick you have expected future MLB earnings of forty five million ars grave I'm in I think everyone's excited about the happy about that this is Charlie Olson he's Pandora's co-founder the problem is your odds are like a coin flip you're you're you're outcome is going to be some version of a coin fifty percent of the time you're gonNA average ninety million dollars amazing fifty percent of the time you'll make less than one not amazing not amazing Charlie's point is that even if you're one of the most promising players in the world sure there is a chance you will become one of the richest people in the country there is also a chance your future baseball earnings will be almost nothing you might get injured you might hit up streak of bad luck you might just not be as good as everybody thinks so the companies pitch to players like Logan Ice is this wouldn't it be nice if you and some of your fellow baseball players could somehow share the risk of this brew title winner-take-all career that you've chosen this idea is called an income pool and it's pretty simple like logan just get together with a handful of other players in his shoes so still stuck in the minors still making up kiss and then Logan and these players would make a deal if one of US makes it to the majors and exit big then that person will kick back part of his big money to the rest of us in the pool where baseball can be zero sum when your best friend gets called up and you didn't now of a sudden when your best friend gets called up a little bit of you did panda thinks this income pool idea would work for all kinds of else but the company is just a few years old and starting out with baseball and we spent a ton of time asking Charlie Olson questions about how this would actually work for example is there a level of baseball player that is too low to join pool no there's there's nothing that's too low so what about right now Kenny Malone in studio eligible to be a client of Panos Okay so yes Kenny you have to be in the minor leagues at least but okay so let's just say you and I are interleague irs yes here's how this would work and and we need hundreds of people for our pool it could be as small as just you and me making a deal yeah so then then Tom and I make this agreement and we need to set up the terms of our pool and we could we could set whatever terms we want but there there's a kind of standard contract that baseball players use and to explain it I was GONNA make the big leagues and we're in this pool together here's how this would play out Tom will not have to pay anything until he is earned one point six million dollars playing in the major leagues and once I reached that one point six million level all kick ten percent of the money I make after that back to the pool Pando is gonNA take a ten percent cut of our pool so that's one percent of Tom's additional money essentially that's their business model but but theoretically this is great wait for me like I'm stuck in the minor leagues with my Crappy Minor League salary and it is now subsidized by Tom's giant big league contract and maybe Tom Mix thirty million dollars a year suddenly a millionaire even though I'm in the minor leagues and the contract runs until my career is over or until I paid twenty million dollars into our pool so that's a version of the income pool plan pitched over the phone to our real minor leaguer logan ice shoot now.

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