MLB teams to provide housing for minor leaguers next year
Major League Baseball teams will provide housing for their minor-league players beginning next season, the league confirmed Sunday.
All 30 owners unanimously agreed to implement the housing plan for "certain" players last month, MLB said in its statement. Full details of the plan are still being finalized, the league added. Players could potentially receive housing stipends instead of actual accommodations paid for by the teams, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
It'll cost teams less than $1 million to provide adequate housing for all of their players for one season, two executives told Passan.
Many current and former players were quick to applaud the news on social media.
The wages and working conditions of minor-league players have come under increased scrutiny over the last few years. Minor leaguers not on 40-man rosters aren't unionized and often have to live in less-than-ideal conditions while earning far less than their big-league counterparts.
MLB cut 42 minor-league affiliates when it restructured the farm system this year and increased minor-league salaries by 38-72%, The Associated Press' Ronald Blum reported in February.
Minor-league salary structure in 2021
|Level||Weekly Min. Salary||Annual Salary|
"Most minor leaguers make less than $15,000 per year and won't receive their next paycheck until April," Advocates of Minor Leaguers executive director Harry Marino told Passan. "For the next six months, they will spend hours each day training - as required by contract - while trying to balance second and third jobs to make ends meet."
Minor leaguers started speaking out more vocally about their working conditions this year. Class-A players in the New York Mets' and Philadelphia Phillies' systems wore wristbands that read #FairBall during a game between the clubs in September. Some of their big-league colleagues have since donned the wristbands, including Los Angeles Dodgers stars Chris Taylor and David Price during the playoffs.
The Houston Astros became the first team to provide housing for their minor-league players this past May by offering furnished apartments.