Following up on my initial post regarding Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) proposal to provide housing for Minor League players beginning in 2022, the details of that proposal have finally surfaced. The policy is expected to provide furnished housing to over 90% of Minor League players across every level, as long as they are playing under a Minor League Uniform Player Contract (UPC). A Uniform Player Contract is the standard contract template between a team and a player. There is both a Major League Uniform Player Contract and a Minor League Uniform Player Contract. The only exceptions to the newly implemented Minor League Housing Policy are players with existing Major League UPC’s or a player who is set to earn a six-figure Minor League salary over a full season.
On November 18, when MLB announced the official policy, details of how this would affect Minor League players became more clear. Clubs must provide housing accommodation options at reasonable, commutable distances from the player’s home ballpark, there shall be no more than two players per bedroom and each player is to get his own bed, accommodations must be furnished, and the club is to take care of basic utility bills in order to be in compliance with the policy. Clubs reserve the right to provide hotel rooms that meet the policy standards if apartments, rental homes, or host families are not feasible.
This policy is an attempt by ownership to smooth over the deep-rooted issues that have impacted Minor League players throughout time. The goal is to modernize the player development system to benefit the future growth of the sport, as well as better serve players, fans, and clubs by producing a higher-level of Minor League Baseball across America. They have done so through increased salaries, improved facilities, moving affiliates closer to their Major League clubs, reduced travel, increased promotion of the Minor Leagues and Partner Leagues on MLB platforms, and now the housing policy. All of these changes to Minor League Baseball provide players more suitable working conditions and allow them to focus more on the development of their game, and ultimately strengthened competition in Minor League Baseball.