After announcing last month that teams would be picking up MiLB player housing costs, MLB unveiled a new housing policy to provide players with furnished housing accommodations.
The new Minor League Housing Policy is expected to provide more than 90 percent of assigned Minor League players across every level with housing accommodations. There are a few exceptions: for instance, players with existing MLB contracts or those scheduled to earn six-figure MiLB salaries over a full season will not be covered. Every level, from AAA to A and all spring-training complex assignments will be covered. These policies will kick in for 2022. Here are some highlights, per MLB:
- MLB teams must provide housing accommodation options located at a reasonable, commutable distance from the ballpark.
- Bedrooms must contain a single bed per player, with be no more than two players per bedroom at all PDL levels.
- Accommodations must be furnished.
- MLB teams will be responsible for basic utility bills at team-provided living arrangements. The Housing Policy will only apply to players under a Minor League UPC.
- Players shall be entitled to receive housing accommodations any time they are directed to report but will always retain the right to opt out of the team-provided housing.
There’s been a debate within the industry as to what form this housing will take, and this should address some of those concerns. Traditionally, you’ve seen players rent apartments under monthly leases. However, given the new schedule changes implemented for the 2022 MiLB season, some players figured out that it was cheaper for an extended-stay hotel than an apartment when a team was on the road for two weeks a month. (That’s the situation that came back to haunt players from a certain popular tourist destination; when they returned from a road trip their favorite extended-stay hotel was totally booked.) To the extent that apartments, rental homes or host families are not feasible at a PDL level, teams may choose to provide hotel rooms that satisfy standards put in place.
“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 via press 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.”
“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,” MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Morgan Sword said via press statement. “Owners knew that a change of this scale always meant that more work would need to be done to achieve our shared goals. 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. The owners are confident that this investment will help ensure that minor league players have every opportunity to achieve their dreams of becoming major leaguers.”
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