The upcoming MLB offseason figures to bring even more change to the sport as the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is set to expire on Dec. 1. If a new deal is not reached by then, the league could face its first work stoppage in over 25 years.
That’s not the only matter on MLB’s plate this winter as they also are in the midst of a legal battle with the Players Association over the shortened 2020 season.
Beyond those issues, MLB likely will continue experimenting with different rule changes and making further tweaks to the Minor League levels. Last year brought about realignment of several affiliates, and now MLB is focused on further improving the conditions for players.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, MLB is finalizing a plan that will require all 30 teams to provide housing for Minor League players next season:
While MLB has yet to outline its plan formally, six team officials told ESPN they are starting to prepare to help house players across each of their four minor league affiliates. In mid-September, owners from the league’s 30 teams agreed unanimously to a plan that would provide housing for certain minor league players, the league said in a statement. Whether they will offer stipends that fully cover housing or provide the lodging itself has yet to be decided, sources said.
In a statement, the league said in part: “MLB is engaged in a multi-year effort to modernize the minor league system and better assist players as they pursue their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. In 2021, we increased the salaries for minor league players by 38-72%, depending on level, and significantly reduced travel requirements during the season. In addition, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of improvements to minor league ballparks around the country are already underway, including substantial renovations to player-facing facilities like locker rooms and training rooms.”
Though not official yet, MLB teams providing housing for Minor Leaguers next season would certainly be a step in the right direction.
The league has caught flack in recent years for the poor working conditions many players faced, including financial issues that made securing housing nearly impossible.
MLB attempted to right some of these issues by increasing Minor League players’ salaries this season. The jump ranged from 38-72% depending on what level the players were in.
Smith had ‘great’ experience in Dodgers farm system
When asked to describe his time in Minors after being drafted by the Dodgers, Will Smith had nothing but praise to give. “My experience the few years I was in the Minors with the Dodgers was great,” he recently said.
“The coaching staff is all about the players, trying to make each guy better, and eventually help the big league team win. They truly helped develop players down there.”
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