Major League Baseball is increasing the minimum salary for players in the minor leagues starting with the 2021 season.
Per Jake Seiner and Ben Walker of the Associated Press, minor leaguers will receive a salary increase between 38 and 72 percent depending on the level.
Rookie and short-season salaries will increase from $290 to $400 per week; players in A ball will receive an increased weekly salary from $290 to $500. In Double-A, players will earn $600 per week, up from $350, and Triple-A players will go from earning $502 per week to $700.
Minor league pay has been the subject of intense criticism for years, particularly since 2018 when MLB lobbied Congress to exempt players in the minors from receiving salaries commensurate with federal minimum wage.
Former MLB player Ty Kelly posted a picture on Twitter of a sandwich he received from his team as a minor leaguer during spring training:
Ty Kelly @tykelly11
Actual lunch on the road at MiLB Spring Training. One slice of deli meat and cheese, an apple, a Gogurt, and a Nature Valley bar. When we tried to make salads at our home complex before getting on the bus, we were told it was not allowed because lunch was already provided. https://t.co/KEfTjro3SK
Per Daniel Gallan of PennLive.com, average player salaries in Single-A ($6,000) and Double-A ($9,350) were below the $12,490 poverty line in 2019 set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The average salary at Triple-A of $15,000 is slightly above the poverty line.
MLB's decision comes in the wake of the Toronto Blue Jays announcing prior to the start of last season they were increasing the salary for their minor leaguers by 50 percent at every level.