MLB to raise minor league salaries in 2021 season, per report

MLB will provide for increases to all minimum salaries across the affiliated minor leagues by 2021, the Associated Press reports

Players at all levels of the minors will see minimum weekly salaries jump. The increases range from 38 percent to 72 percent raises. Here's more from the AP's Ben Walker and Jake Seiner: 

Players at rookie and short-season levels will see their minimum weekly pay raised from $290 to $400, and players at Class A will go from $290 to $500. Double-A will jump from $350 to $600, and Triple-A from $502 to $700.

The issue of minor league pay has been a rich source of controversy in recent years. In 2018, MLB successfully lobbied to pay minor leaguers less than the minimum wage thanks to the "Save America's Pastime Act," which was tucked into a much larger federal spending bill. MLB's argument was that minor leaguers were seasonal workers -- they're paid for just the five months of the minor league season and not the remainder of the calendar year -- and thus shouldn't be protected by minimum-wage laws. After years of MLB lobbying to that end, Congress accommodated those wishes. 

Since MLB pays the salaries of minor leaguers, the issue had nothing to do with whether minor league franchises could survive, although that became a conflated issue.

Even so, the Blue Jays previously moved to increase minor league pay, and now it appears the league is a whole will take a similar step. The decision occurs against a couple of notable backdrops. First, a group of minor leaguers has brought lawsuit against MLB in which they claim their pay was in violation of the law. Second, MLB in its negotiations with Minor League Baseball is seeking to drastically reduce the number of affiliated minor league teams, which would in essence kill off those clubs. For instance, MLB wants to eliminate short-season ball entirely in time for the 2021 season, which would make the raises noted above for those levels moot and inapplicable. 

All that said, raises for the remaining affiliated prospects will be most welcome, even if this doesn't bring them up to a livable wage.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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