MLB: better conditions for players in minor leagues

CHICAGO – The majority of minor league players will have their own beds provided in team quarters, under a new policy established by Major Baseball.

Increasing improvements for minor leagues following much criticism, Major Baseball’s housing policy will require teams to provide each player with furnished accommodation, with a single bed, and no more than two players per room.

The accommodation must be « located at a reasonable and switchable distance from the stadium, » the commissioner’s office said on Thursday. The teams will be responsible for basic utility bills.

“To the extent that apartments, rental houses or host families are not feasible, teams may choose to provide hotel rooms that meet established standards,” added Major League Baseball.

While teams typically arrange hotel accommodation for road trips, players have been largely left out in their search for accommodation in the city their team plays. Players retain the right not to use the accommodation provided by their formation.

Major Baseball estimated that the policy would apply to 90 percent of players in the minor leagues, including those assigned to the Extended Spring Camp and Arizona Minor League.

The policy will not apply to players with Major contracts earning US $ 100,000 or more or players with Major contracts who are on voluntary or minor league assignment.

« This is a historic victory for the players, who have forced the league to speak throughout the 2021 season, » said director of the group ‘Advocates for Minor Leaguers’, Harry Marino. While the magnitude of the victory cannot be overstated, it’s important to recognize that minor-league players had no say in the details of the plan. « 

After successfully lobbying Congress to exempt minor leagues from federal minimum wage laws, Major Baseball increased wages to between 38 and 72 percent when minor leagues resumed operations in 2021, after a lack of ‘one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rookie players saw the weekly minimum drop from $ 290 to $ 400, Level A players from $ 290 to $ 500, Level AA players from $ 350 to $ 600, and Level AAA players from $ 502 to $ 700. Players are only paid during the season.

The minimum wage in the minor leagues was $ 46,600 last season for a player who signed his first contract in the Majors, and $ 93,000 for a player who signed a second or more contracts in the Majors. In Major Baseball, the minimum wage was set at $ 570,500.

Major Baseball took over minor league operations from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues and increased the number of training clubs from 162 to 120 last season. There are four for each professional team, and additional clubs are permitted at Spring Training Complexes and in the Dominican Republic.

Under the changes, Major Baseball teams are on average 200 miles closer to their AAA level club, allowing most players to be within driving distance of their professional team.

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