Baseball minor leaguers reached a historic initial collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball on Wednesday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not announced.
As part of the five-year deal, MLB agreed during the contract not to reduce minor league affiliates from the current 120.
The sides reached the deal two days before the start of the minor league season and hours after a federal judge gave final approval to a $185 million settlement reached with MLB last May of a lawsuit filed in 2014 alleging violations of federal minimum wage laws.
Union staff recommended approval and about 5,500 minor leaguers were expected to vote by Thursday.
Minimum salaries will rise from $4,800 to $19,800 at rookie ball, $11,000 to $26,200 at Low Class-A, $11,000 to $27,300 at High Class-A, $13,800 to $27,300 at Double-A and $17,500 to $45,800 at Triple-A.
New in minor league CBA: players who sign at age 19 or older are under club reserve for 6 years, rather than the current 7. This does not apply retroactively.
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 30, 2023
Players at Double-A and Triple-A will be guaranteed a single room on the road. The domestic violence and drug policies will be covered by the union agreement.
Major leaguers have been covered by a labor contract since 1968 and the average salary has soared from $17,000 in 1967 to an average of $4.22 million last season. Minor leaguers earned as little as $10,400 last year.
The Major League Baseball Players Association took over as the bargaining representative of the roughly 5,500 players with minor league contracts last September after a lightning 17-day organization drive.
Minor leaguers players will receive four weeks of retroactive spring training pay for this year. They will get $625 weekly for spring training and off-season training camp and $250 weekly for off-season workouts at home.
The number of players an organization must keep under contract starting in 2024 will be 165 during the season and 175 during the offseason, down from the current 190 in-season and 180.
The union will take over group licensing rights for players.
Negotiating for players was led by Bruce Meyer, Harry Marino, Ian Penny, and Matt Nussbaum. MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem headed management’s bargainers.
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