Minor leagues, umpires reach deal

NEW YORK -- Five years after striking for the first two months of the season, minor league umpires reached an agreement on a new labor contract Monday, two days before their current deal was to expire.

The agreement calls for salaries to remain the same until 2016 when Triple-A and Double-A umps will receive a minimum $100 per month raise, depending on service time. Per diem will go up immediately.

"It will allow us to manage the costs associated with our umpire program in an effective manner and will help maintain our industry as an attractive form of affordable family entertainment," said Tim Purpura executive vice president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.

He said the deal will increase umpire costs by 2.5 percent annually.

Umpires earn a minimum $2,600 per month at Triple-A, $2,300 at Double-A, $2,000 at Class A and $1,900 at rookie leagues.

Per diem, which ranged from $30-$40 this year, will rise to $32.50-$43.57 next season and increase to $42.50-$56 by the final year.