Minor league deal filing delayed 4 days by judge to July 15

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Minor league players and Major League Baseball were given approval for a four-day delay in submitting the proposed settlement of their lawsuit to a federal court.

Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero on Thursday approved a request from both sides to reset the deadline for filing the settlement from July 11 to July 15.

When the sides announced the settlement on May 10, two people familiar with the negotiations said the sides had been discussing a possible settlement in the $200 million range. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the release of details was not authorized.

The suit was filed in 2014 by first baseman/outfielder Aaron Senne, a 10th-round pick of the Marlins in 2009 who retired in 2013, and two other retired players who had been lower-round selections: Kansas City infielder Michael Liberto and San Francisco pitcher Oliver Odle. They claimed violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a work week they estimated at 50 to 60 hours.

Spero wrote in a pretrial ruling in March that minor leaguers are year-round employees who work during training time and found MLB violated Arizona’s state minimum wage law and was liable for triple damages. Spero also ruled MLB did not comply with California wage statement requirements, awarding $1,882,650 in penalties.

He said minor leaguers should be paid for travel time to road games in the California League and to practice in Arizona and Florida.

In 2017, the players suing were defined as those with minor league contracts who played in the California League for at least seven straight days starting on Feb. 7, 2010 or Feb. 7, 2011, depending on state or federal claims; those who participated in spring training, extended spring training instructional leagues in Arizona starting Feb. 7, 2011; and those who participated in spring training, extended spring training instructional leagues in Florida starting Feb. 7, 2009.

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