Major League Baseball will raise the minimum salary for minor-league players in 2021, according to a memo from the commissioner's office that was acquired by Ben Walker and Jake Seiner of The Associated Press.
There will reportedly be increases at all minor-league levels.
|Level||Weekly salary increase|
|Rookie/Short Season||$290 to $400|
|Class-A||$290 to $500|
|Double-A||$350 to $600|
|Triple-A||$502 to $700|
Even with the raises, minor-league players will still earn far less than major-league players, who receive a minimum salary of $563,500.
"Minor League Baseball fully supports MLB's decision to raise the pay rates for players in affiliated Minor League Baseball," MiLB said in a statement on Saturday, according to Josh Norris of Baseball America. "This is an important step as we seek to work together to improve working conditions for players without reducing the number of players and teams."
The low wages paid to minor-league players have been a point of contention for years, with a group of minor leaguers even filing a lawsuit against MLB teams in 2014. The lawsuit claimed most players were forced to live on less than $7,500 during a five-month season, which violated several laws.
The notice of the pay raises comes while MLB is negotiating with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues - the governing body for the minor leagues - on the next Professional Baseball Agreement, with the current pact set to expire following the 2020 season.
MLB is looking to restructure the minors in 2021 by removing 42 affiliate teams, mostly from the lower levels. Commissioner Rob Manfred has defended the proposal, saying it's needed to increase player wages in the minors and upgrade team facilities. Nonetheless, it's received strong criticism in the past few months.
"Minor League Baseball believes MLB can afford these salary increases without reducing the number of players (in the minors) by 25%," MiLB's statement continued. "We have provided MLB with a specific proposal on how we can work together to ensure improvements to older facilities and reduce travel between series through limited realignment."
MLB teams are responsible for the salaries of minor-league players under the current PBA.