Minor leaguers to receive pay increases in first MLB labor deal

MIAMI, March 30 (UPI) -- Minor League Baseball players will receive significant salary increases and be paid year-round as part of a groundbreaking labor deal with MLB, league and union sources told UPI on Thursday morning.

The sources, not authorized to speak publicly because the agreement is pending an official vote from players and team owners, said the parties agreed to the five-year deal Wednesday.


Players received electronic ballots, with the union's recommendation to approve, Wednesday night. Team owners are expected to vote in the coming days.

Minor league players will receive back pay for spring training once the agreement is ratified. Those players were previously only paid salaries during the regular season.

As part of the agreement, players in the complex leagues will receive a pay raise from $4,800 to $19,800. Low-A and High-A player pay will jump from $11,000 to $26,200 and $27,000, respectively, the union source said. Double-A players will now make $30,250, up from $13,800.

Players in Triple-A, the highest level of the minors, will earn salaries of $35,800. They previously earned $17,500.

The recognition of minor leaguers as part of a union gives the players a due process system for disputes. Players now will have the ability to challenge aspects of disciplinary actions, with a neutral arbitrator instead of with the league.


Minor league players also regained name, image and likeness rights, which were surrendered under the former uniform players contract.

The agreement will result in major improvements to player housing, transportation and meals, in addition to the financial impact.

MLB took control of the minor league system in 2020 and announced a new player development structure in 2021. The league slightly increased minor league pay in 2021 and offered player housing in 2022.

The Major League Baseball Players Association became the minor league players' bargaining representative in September, which led to MLB voluntarily recognizing the union.

MLB eliminated more than 40 minor league teams and cut its draft to 20 rounds from 40 in other changes to the farm system in recent years.

Wednesday's historic agreement was made the same day U.S. magistrate judge Joseph C. Spero approved a $185 million settlement for minor league players as part of a lawsuit against MLB for alleged violations of federal minimum wage laws. Spero issued that approval in federal court in San Francisco.

Korein Tillery attorney Garrett Broshuis, who represented the players in that case, tweeted Wednesday that the result will provide "backpay to thousands" of players.

MLB agreed to pay that class-action lawsuit settlement in July.


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