About time! Diamondbacks to now provide housing for Minor League players
By Jake Oliver
Per a recent MLB announcement, Arizona Diamondbacks are required to provide housing for nearly all of their MILB players
During the 2020 baseball shutdown, the entire baseball community was firmly apprised of just how bad Minor League baseball players are paid and treated. Many teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, had to be publicly shamed into giving their players something resembling a living wage since most of the players in their minors were ineligible for unemployment.
They forced these players to figure out how to train, survive, and get by until the 2021 season. The only players they didn’t force this on was a very small percent that was invited to go to “summer camp.” They were taken care of since they were working out for the team and playing scrimmages and whatnot. Of course, most of these players were the team’s top prospects.
Due to such negative backlash, and how large a controversy this had grown in what the public found out, the MLB has decided to do something. Instead of hearing more about players being forced to split a studio or 1-bedroom apartment with 3-5 other guys, the MLB is doing something they should’ve done from the beginning. They are mandating every MLB team to provide housing for all of their minor league players. Of course, players only forced so many guys into one place because of very poor wages.
Starting with the 2022 MILB season, teams will pay for an apartment, rental home, or hotel room for every player/s. Host families are accepted provided they pass background checks. Additionally, the residences must be within a reasonable distance of their home ballpark. During Spring Training, teams must use dorms or hotels to provide accommodations.
No player may be allowed to have their name on a lease or utility bill. This is because all too often, a player would get a lease for a season in one place, then get promoted to a new city, and be stuck paying two leases. They can’t leave the first lease without paying a good amount of money they don’t have.
Exceptions, there are, as this doesn’t apply to any MLB player, or any minor leaguer making more than 20K a month.
All housing must have a bedroom, bathroom, living space, kitchen, 1 bed per player with at most 2 beds per room. This is quite a change from when players would share beds.
Additionally, each place must have AC (if local climate needs it), furnishings, silverware and dishes, tables, chairs, TV, linens, and other essentials. Clubs will be required to pay for basics like electricity, water, and WiFi. However, players are on their own when it comes to getting Hulu or a PS5.
Players are allowed to opt out but can do so at their own risk. It’s about time the MLB steps up and provides help to the players they use for entertainment to enrich their owners. Their wages have risen recently, but not enough to provide adequate accommodations for themselves, while still trying to train to be a world-class athletes.
According to Sporting News, A-Level players’ weekly pay is at least $500, Double-A is $600, and for Triple-A, it’s $700. Don’t forget that the weekly play only covers 21 weeks of the year, despite players playing from Mid-February to September or later. Many have to get 2nd or third jobs to make ends meet, especially in the off-season when they need to be training.
At least, the MLB and Diamondbacks are providing housing finally. Still more work to be done though.
May the Force be with you…