Minor League Baseball takes huge step forward with first-ever CBA

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A bag of balls sits on the field before a spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, March 24, 2023, in Dunedin, Fla. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP)

Minor League Baseball: There’s been little surprise among fans that players are paid peanuts as they hope for a call-up to the majors. Until last year, there wasn’t even a formal union for players to ask for better wages. And before that, it took a $185 million class-action lawsuit for players to be paid during spring training. Now there’s a reason for players to celebrate as Major League Baseball and minor league players signed a historic first-ever collective bargaining agreement.

According to ESPN’s baseball’s omniscient Jeff Passan:

This comes three years after the minor league system underwent a massive reorganization in 2020 with many teams playing under a new tier in 2021. For a further breakdown, again according to Passan, this is how the deal shakes down.

Minor League Baseball gets first-ever CBA

At each level, the Minor League Baseball increases will be:

  • Triple-A: From $17,500 per year 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

This means that now Minor League Baseball players will also almost be paid a full year, minus a dead period between the Thursday before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. This is the latest development as Major League Baseball aims to increase players’ quality of life. Back in November 2021, the league announced that there was a new Minor League Housing Policy, aimed to give more than 90 percent of assigned Minor League players across every level furnished housing at the MLB club’s expense starting in 2022.

Players do still need to vote on the CBA but that will likely happen no later than midnight Friday, as the minor league season starts on March 31st. However, in the event it does not pass, there are no planned lockouts or strikes to cause a stop to the season. There is a lone concession: a reduction of the maximum Domestic Reserve List. This governs the number of players a team can roster outside of Latin America, bringing it down from 180 to 165 starting in 2024.

Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP