- Dec 4, 2009
Just in from Jeff Passan:
Major League Baseball suggested sweeping changes to the minor leagues -- including a significant increase in salaries, a higher standard of living conditions and better transportation -- during an initial collective-bargaining session with the group that oversees the minors, sources familiar with the meeting told ESPN.
After years of weathering criticism and lawsuits regarding minor league pay, MLB appears ready to remedy what long has been considered substandard treatment of its future players. The meeting took place within the last month, around the same time the Toronto Blue Jays were finalizing a new wage scale for their minor league players, which was first reported by The Athletic. The working agreement between MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which operates Minor League Baseball, expires in September 2020.
The complexity of such fundamental changes to the system could complicate bargaining, particularly with regard to the cost and how much each side is responsible. MLB's position on progressive policy for minor leaguers has strong support among major league owners, an owner familiar with the discussions told ESPN, but the expectation is that minor league affiliates would pick up at least some of the burden of the various improvements.
More at the linkBecause it's early in bargaining, the shape of the changes remains fluid. What was clear from the bargaining meeting, sources told ESPN, was MLB's desire to overhaul a system in need of it -- and Minor League Baseball's understanding that as the beneficiary of the free labor, it's in no strong position to argue otherwise.