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Better Conditions, Better Pay, Better Play

By: Abby Decker

Edited By: Kylie Augis

Minor league baseball has come a long way. From experiencing various poor conditions like housing and salary, to going on strike, to the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) becoming effective in March 2022; these players have been through it all.

This has been a long battle. Before the CBA became effective, these players were paid a salary that was considered below the US Federal Poverty Level for an individual. With that, players were expected to pay for their own housing. Their salary did not allow for that to happen, so players shared apartments with teammates, slept in their cars, clubhouses, basically whatever they could find. If a player was able to afford housing, some were reluctant to even sign the leases due to the possibility of being moved to another team. Players often worked a second job just to make more income. Finally, in 2021, the MLB approved a new policy that required teams to provide housing for at least the majority of the minor league players; the housing had to be furnished and the league had to pay for the utilities. This was also an issue for those who had their family with them; it was challenging for them to find a comfortable living situation with their lack of income as well as it was challenging to save money for the future. That policy began in the 2022 season. Transportation was also an issue as some players did not have a car or even a license. Even the meals were subpar, players had to fend for themselves often due to the poor quality.

Courtesy of Baseball America

Now that the CBA has been established, the minimum annual salaries have significantly increased. It definitely is not a lot of money compared to the MLB, but this raise makes a huge difference for the players. The minimum annual salaries for each level include Single-A: $26,200, up from $11,009; High-A $27,300, up from $11,000; Double-A: $30,250, up from $13,800; Triple-A: $35,800, up from $17,500. Along with this, the players are now paid as full-time employees when they only used to be paid as seasonal employees. Now that their salaries have increased and are being paid full-time, players have more time to focus on their craft rather than obtaining a second job. They are now able to spend time with their families as the family members are also provided with accommodations. Players are now provided transportation to and from the field when needed which is a huge upgrade. Finally, as for nutrition, there will be major improvements as they will not only be provided with more portions, but also the meals provided will go through a nutrition committee to make sure the meals are sufficient.

This is just the beginning of bringing better conditions for these players. The major upgrades will hopefully relieve stress and anxiety for these players and help them not only enjoy playing baseball but have a positive outlook for their futures.

Courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

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