MLB owners unanimously vote to provide housing for minor league players
BY STEVE GARDNER
Major League Baseball has announced a new policy that will provide housing for nearly every player in the minor leagues, beginning next season.
The program announced Thursday and approved unanimously by all 30 teams is being touted as the next phase in MLB's overhaul of its minor league system -- one that began last year with pay increases for players at all levels and a reorganization of the minor leagues to reduce in-season travel.
The housing guarantee covers approximately 90% of players in the minors -- from Class AAA to extended spring training -- with the only exceptions being for players with existing major league contracts or players with minor league contracts of $100,000 or more.
The Erie SeaWolves host the Altoona Curve in a 2019 Class AA game at UPMC Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Over the past several years, minor league players and advocates have called attention to cramped living conditions and other challenges players in the lower levels face.
“This step forward recognizes that the unprecedented nature of the past two years has further exacerbated affordable housing challenges across the country that existed before the pandemic," said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations. "The owners are confident that this investment will help ensure that Minor League players have every opportunity to achieve their dreams of becoming Major Leaguers.”
During the 2021 season, some MLB teams did provide some housing assistance to minor league players, but the new policy will make that the standard across the board.