After years of fighting to suppress the wages of its minor league players, Major League Baseball has issued a memo to teams instructing them to raise minimum salaries in the minors, according to the Associated Press.
The pay bump will reportedly land in the area of 38 to 72 percent for players. Players in the rookie and short-season leagues would go from a minimum weekly income of $290 to $400, Class A players from $290 to $500, Double-A players from $350 to $600 and Triple-A players from $502 to $700.
Players will still only be paid during the five-month season.
The move comes after a successful attempt to lobby Congress to exempt MLB from minimum wage laws for its minor league players.
It also comes as MLB negotiates with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which runs the minors and is fighting MLB’s widely criticized proposal to cut 42 of 160 teams from its affiliated group. The current minors agreement expires after the 2020 season.
Minor league players are not represented by the MLB Players Association and have received salaries well below any sort of living wage for years. Some have the benefit of six- and seven-figure bonuses when they sign, but the rest need outside income and support to keep their baseball careers afloat.
MLB’s salary raises obviously do little to change that reality — even as much as $700 a week for 5 months is less than $16,000 — but it’s still a decent change.
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