Minor league baseball players ratified a historic first-ever collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Major League Baseball, the Players Association announced on Friday.
The MLBPA said an “overwhelming” majority of the 99% of players who cast a ballot in the decision voted to ratify the CBA.
The deal will be final upon formal ratification by Major League Baseball owners.
With the approval, minor league players will have their salaries and working conditions set by the CBA prior to the start of the minor league season.
The CBA will have a five-year duration and will come with salary increases for players at all levels of the MLB minor league system.
Additionally, players will be paid almost year-round. Minor leaguers were previously not paid during the offseason or spring training.
The new CBA will also improve the minor league housing policy and transportation policies, including “daily transportation to and from the field, individual travel, and team travel,”
Minor Leaguers will also have improved medical rights, health and retirement benefits.
“The agreement represents a giant step forward in treating Minor League Players as the elite professional athletes that they are,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark in a statement. “It’s a historic day for these Players, their families and the entire Player fraternity. Every past and present member of the MLBPA is proud today.”
The minor league season is scheduled to open on Friday when Triple-A clubs start the regular season.