Minor League Baseball players, at least the ones that still have jobs (because multiple teams were contracted, thus leaving anywhere from 60-100 player jobs per organization no longer in existence, on top of many subsidiary jobs of coaches, personnel, and such) have been picking up some wins off of the field lately. After having their pay raised in 2021 (though it still needs to probably double), another victory is official: Major League Baseball is going to cover the cost of housing moving forward for an overwhelming majority of players.
We first heard about the deal a month ago, but the details at the time weren’t quite there as much as many of us would have liked at the time. Many of the questions asked then have been answered this week as Major League Baseball detailed.
Baseball America’s Josh Norris had the news first, but Major League Baseball issued a press release shortly thereafter. Within were these notes:
- To be compliant with the 2022 Minor League Housing Policy, Clubs must provide housing accommodation options located at a reasonable, commutable distance from the ballpark.
- Bedrooms must contain a single bed per player, and there shall be no more than two players per bedroom at all PDL levels.
- Accommodations must be furnished, and Clubs will be responsible for basic utility bills at Club-provided living arrangements.
- To the extent that apartments, rental homes, or host families are not feasible at a PDL level, Clubs may choose to provide hotel rooms that satisfy standards put in place.
- The Housing Policy will only apply to players under a Minor League UPC.
- Players shall be entitled to receive housing accommodations any time they are directed to report but will always retain the right to opt out of the Club-provided housing.
Within the information that was provided by Baseball America and not in the press release from Major League Baseball was that players who are on Major League contracts or those who make more than $20,000 per month on a minor league contract are exempt from having their housing paid for. Teams will also cover general utilities, including electricity, water, and wifi. Players can choose to opt out
Two questions came up about what was not clear in the information we’ve had access to. First is how long does a player have to “vacate” their living quarters or whatever it is that we want to call it if they are released during the season? When a player is released they are almost immediately replaced on the roster. That could mean that their room/whatever is a spot that is “needed” for the new player. While teams are now providing some things such as furniture, a television, and players are generally living out of a suitcase (or multiple suitcases as it may be), giving them at least a small amount of time to get things in order before leaving them out on the streets to “figure it out” would be nice to have spelled out.
The other one is what about players who have a family that lives with them during the season? There does seem to be *some* information about this, but it’s very vague and it’s being left up to each individual team. JJ Cooper of Baseball America notes here that the memo says the following:
Clubs may establish their own policies regarding guests, including spouses, children, friends, etc.
We’ll have to wait and see how teams go about handling this aspect of things. For minor league free agents how an organization goes about this could be a real determining factor in where they ultimately sign.