MLB Mandates Housing Provisions For Affiliated Minor Leaguers By 2022
Major League Baseball will begin requiring its teams to provide housing for affiliated minor league players starting in 2022. The move is the latest step in MLB's thorough reorganization of minor league baseball.
As yet, MLB hasn't specified whether teams will offer to reimburse players for housing or provide facilities directly.
"In mid-September, the owners discussed the issue of player housing and unanimously agreed to begin providing housing to certain minor league players," the league said in a statement. "We are in the process of finalizing the details of that policy and expect it to be announced and in place for the 2022 season."
The move came after pressure from groups like Advocates for Minor Leaguers and More Than Baseball, which focus on the suboptimal living conditions of minor leaguers, many of whose baseball salaries would leave them below the poverty line but for second and third jobs, ESPN reports. Housing tends to be a major expense for minor league players, especially in places with a high cost of living.
As part of the changes to the minor leagues, improvements to such facilities as lockers rooms and training rooms are also already underway, CBS Sports reports.
Another aspect of the reorganization involved a winnowing down of the number of minor league teams affiliated with MLB, from 162 teams to 120. That left nearly 40 minor league ballparks nationwide without MLB-affiliated teams.
A few of the teams that didn't make the cut are closing up shop, but most of them will continue to play ball in their existing stadiums either in independent leagues or newly formed leagues for collegiate and pre-draft athletes. Towns where teams are ceasing operations are already in the process of repurposing their ballparks, most of which are municipal properties.
As part of the minor league shake-up, MLB cut its amateur draft in half but also guaranteed 10-year contracts between clubs, increased minor league players’ pay (though not by enough, advocates say) and raised the prospect of new investment in player development and facilities, Global Sports Matters reports.