The MLB reached a tentative agreement with minor league players on Wednesday (March 30) that outlines the first-ever collective bargaining agreement between the two sides. The deal will more than double player pay and represents the largest-ever gains in the rights of minor leaguers, sources tell ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
BREAKING: A deal is in place between the minor league players in the MLBPA and Major League Baseball on the historic first collective-bargaining agreement for minor leaguers, union officials tell ESPN. Deal is five years and includes at least 2x pay at all levels of the minors.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 30, 2023
The agreement, which will last five years, will pay minor leaguers for most of the offseason as well as spring training, including back pay for this season. It comes the same day a judge approved a $185 million settlement that the players filed against MLB for violating minimum wage laws and six months after minor leaguers unionized under the MLB Players Association.
According to Passan, the yearly minimum salaries will increase as follows:
- Triple-A: $17,500 to $35,800
- Double-A: $13,800 to $30,250
- High-A: $11,000 to $27,300
- Single-A: $11,000 to $26,200
- Complex league: $4,800 to $19,800
The MLB was under increased pressure to make changes at the minor league level, first from the players themselves and then straight from Congress. There have been numerous social media posts from minor leaguers showing their lack of pay and brutal living conditions, which caused the league to start providing housing for the players in 2022. Then, a newly formed group called Advocates for Minor Leaguers brought the case in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who originally ordered the $185 million settlement.
There were additional amenities in the deal, including better housing and transportation at the minor league level. Starting in 2024, those at Triple-A and Double-A will receive their own bedroom, and players with spouses and children will receive special accommodations. In rookie ball, Single-A and High-A, teams will provide transportation to stadiums, where they’ll eat meals provided under rules negotiated by a joint clubhouse nutrition committee.
In addition to housing and wage upgrades, players receive full name, image and likeness rights, expanded medical benefits and changes to the reserve period that allows players to reach minor league free agency a year earlier. The agreement is expected to become official before the Minor League opening day on Friday (March 31).
For the those who passed a hat around for diaper money for newborns.
For those who grinded away at 2 or even 3 off-season jobs.
For those who skipped breakfast or even lunch to pinch pennies.
For those who have up the game not for a lack of talent but for a lack of funds.
— Garrett Broshuis (@broshuis) March 30, 2023
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