MiLB Players Officially Part of MLBPA After Union-authorization Cards Validated

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 14, 2022

FILE - Spectators watch the bottom of the fourth inning of the Eastern League All-Star Double-A baseball game July 11, 2018, in Trenton, N.J. The Florida State League will limit defensive shifts by drawing chalk lines in a pie shape from second base to the outfield grass starting July 22, prohibiting infielders from the marked area pre-pitch in an experiment that could increase offense. Major League Baseball has been testing shift limits all season at Double-A and Class A, requiring teams to have four players on the infield, including two on each side of second base. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

Minor league baseball players are now officially part of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

MLBPA Communications @MLBPA_News

Statement from Executive Director Tony Clark regarding Minor League Players joining the MLBPA <a href="https://t.co/RrZO9AR22p">pic.twitter.com/RrZO9AR22p</a>

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

Statement from MLB: "Major League Baseball has a long history of bargaining in good faith with unions, including those representing minor and major league umpires, and major league players. We respect the right of workers to decide for themselves whether to unionize.” <a href="https://t.co/EYVfh0CQJW">pic.twitter.com/EYVfh0CQJW</a>

ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported news that the minor leaguer's union-authorization cards were validated by an arbitrator, signifying the final step toward joining the MLBPA.

Commissioner Rob Manfred had previously said the league would voluntarily recognize the minor league's inclusion into the players association, per Passan. It came after a majority of players voted to unionize earlier this month.

"Minor league players have made it unmistakably clear they want the MLBPA to represent them and are ready to begin collective bargaining in order to positively affect the upcoming season," MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said after the initial vote.

The MLBPA recently negotiated a new five-year collective bargaining agreement that was signed in March after a three-month lockout.

The organization can now turn its attention to help minor league players, which have previously been hurt by a lack of representation.

Major League Baseball agreed to pay a $185 million settlement to current and former players in July after allegations of violating minimum wage laws.

"This is my eighth year," Baltimore Orioles prospect Andres Angulo told Evan Drellich of The Athletic. "Last year, I went home with $500 in my pocket. And I don’t think that’s something that I want for my life. But I'm still in baseball, just because I have a dream to make it to the big leagues. But I don’t think that’s fair for us."

The Senate Judiciary Committee said in June it plans to hold hearings about the league's treatment of minor leaguers.