MLB, minor leaguers reach first ever collective bargaining agreement; deal includes pay raises

MLB

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Mar 15, 2022; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; A general view of bats and gloves on the field during Houston Astros spring training work outs at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
(Jasen Vinlove/Reuters)

MLB and minor-league baseball players who are members of the MLBPA reached a landmark collective bargaining agreement Wednesday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported and sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports’ Hannah Keyser.

The CBA is a first for minor leaguers, who have long campaigned for better protections, pay and treatment from baseball owners. The deal guarantees higher salaries across the minor leagues. Players at multiple levels of MiLB will see their salaries more than double at a minimum, and they will triple at the lowest level.

Pay changes

Complex League players will see their salaries increase from $4,800 to $19,800 annually. Low-A players will see their salaries increase from $11,000 to $26,600. High-A players will see their pay increase from $11,000 to $27,600. Double-A players will receive raises from $13,800 to $30,250. And Triple-A players will see their salaries more than double from $17,500 to $35,800.

Players will be paid retroactively for four weeks of spring training, sources told Yahoo Sports.

The agreement arrives amid increased pressure on MLB and on the same day that it agreed to a $185 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by MiLB players over unpaid wages. The lawsuit known as the Senne case was initially filed in 2014 on behalf of former minor leaguers Aaron Senne, Michael Liberto and Oliver Odle.

Player leadership has agreed to the CBA. The deal now requires approval from the roughly 5,500 impacted MiLB membership pool, with players facing a midnight Thursday deadline to cast their votes. The leadership group that negotiated the deal included between 150 and 200 players. MLB owners likewise need to ratify the agreement that was negotiated on their behalf by the league office.

What else is included in the CBA

MLB has agreed to not contract any teams for the life of this CBA. The deal also includes better living conditions for MiLB players.

Per the deal, every Double-A and Triple-A player will get his own bedroom. High-A and Low-A players who have a roommate will have the option to opt out of team housing and receive a stipend instead. Housing will also accommodate players’ spouses and/or children.

The reserve clause for players drafted at 19 or older has shortened from seven years to six in the CBA. This means minor leaguers are now eligible for free agency after six years. MLB negotiated the right to reduce the maximum reserve list to no less than 165 (from 180) players during regular season and 175 (from 190) during the offseason starting in 2024.

Additionally, players now have a grievance process and the right to provide input and receive notice on rule changes. They also gained second-opinion rights for medical concerns.

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