NEW YORK -- An expansion of housing accommodations is expected to provide more than 90% of minor league players with furnished housing accommodations across every level, Major League Baseball announced Thursday.
The policy will have exceptions, including players with major league uniform player contracts and minor leaguers scheduled to make six-figure salaries over a full season. Players will receive housing at Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A, High-A and Low-A and at spring training complex levels.
"This is a historic victory for players, who forced the league's hand by speaking up throughout the 2021 season," Advocates for Minor Leaguers director Harry Marino said in a statement. "Let there be no mistake: this victory is the product of collective action by players. While the magnitude of the victory cannot be overstated, it is important to recognize that minor league players had no formal say regarding the details of the plan."
Morgan Sword, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, issued a statement acknowledging many of the accommodations the league is making on behalf of the minor leaguers.
"The owners went into our first season modernizing the player development system focused on addressing longstanding issues that have impacted minor league players for decades," Sword said in the news release. "As part of the new system, owners increased salaries from 38% to 72% for 2021, improved facilities, provided more amenities and better clubhouse conditions, removed all clubhouse dues and reduced in-season travel with better geographical alignment.
"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."
MLB provided housing to players at the player development and spring training complex levels in 2021, but the expansion will be all-encompassing of the minor leagues.
Bedrooms must contain a single bed for every player, with no more than two players per bedroom. Homes will be furnished and clubs will pay utility bills. Where apartments and rental homes aren't possible, clubs may provide hotel rooms that meet league requirements.
"The disturbing reality is that many players are currently working second, or even third, jobs just to make ends meet," Marino said. "Housing is just one aspect of MLB's fundamentally flawed minor league system."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report