NEW YORK — Minor league players reached a historic initial collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball on Wednesday that will more than double player salaries, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not announced.

As part of the five-year deal, MLB agreed during the contract not to reduce minor league affiliates from the current 120.

The sides reached the agreement two days before the start of the minor league season and hours after a federal judge gave final approval to a $185 million settlement reached with MLB last May of a lawsuit filed in 2014 alleging violations of federal minimum wage laws.

Union staff recommended approval, and about 5,500 minor leaguers were eligible to cast ballots in a vote expected Thursday. MLB teams must also vote to approve and were likely to do so over the next week.

Minimum salaries will rise from $4,800 to $19,800 at rookie ball, $11,000 to $26,200 at Low Class A, $11,000 to $27,300 at High Class A, $13,800 to $27,300 at Double A and $17,500 to $35,800 at Triple-A. Players will be paid in the offseason for the first time.


Most players will be guaranteed housing, and players at Double-A and Triple-A will be given a single room. Players at Low A and High A will have the option of exchanging club housing for a stipend. Domestic violence and drug policies will be covered by the union agreement. Players who sign for the first time at 19 or older can become minor league free agents after six seasons instead of seven.

Minor leaguers players will receive four weeks of retroactive spring training pay for this year. They will get $625 weekly for spring training and offseason training camp, and $250 weekly for offseason workouts at home.

Beginning in 2024, teams can have a maximum of 165 players under contract during the season and 175 during the offseason, down from the current totals of 190 and 180.

The union will take over group licensing rights for players.

Major leaguers have been covered by a labor contract since 1968 and the average salary has soared from $17,000 in 1967 to an average of $4.22 million last season.

MLB raised minor league minimum salaries in 2021 and last year began requiring housing for some minor leaguers.


The Major League Baseball Players Association took over as the bargaining representative of the roughly 5,500 players with minor league contracts last September after a lightning 17-day organization drive. MLB agreed to accept the union rather than force players to ask the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election.

About 24,000 players are potentially eligible to share the money from the $185 million settlement of the lawsuit against Major League Baseball, with estimated payments averaging in the $5,000 to $5,500 range.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero issued his approval of the settlement in a 36-page order in federal court in San Francisco, finding objections to the settlement were without merit. The approval will not be effective for 30 days, allowing time for appeals.


METS: Justin Verlander was placed on the injured list because of a strained upper back muscle, sidelining the 2022 AL Cy Young Award winner before his first appearance with his new team.

The Mets announced that Verlander has a low-grade teres major strain. Verlander will continue throwing at moderate intensity and will undergo more scans in a week.


Verlander, 40, signed an $86.67 million, two-year deal with the Mets during the offseason. He pitched well during spring training but said he had been dealing with some discomfort in his upper arm and armpit area.

GUARDIANS: Cleveland locked up two more key players to long-term contracts before opening another season.

The AL Central champions signed All-Star second baseman Andrés Giménez to a seven-year contract and completed a four-year deal with reliever Trevor Stephan.

Giménez’s $106.5 million deal, which was previously reported by The Associated Press, runs through the 2029 season and includes a $23 million club option for 2030. Stephan’s contract goes through 2026 and includes club options for 2027 and 2028.

Giménez, 24, hit .297 last season with 17 homers and 69 RBI while winning a Gold Glove. Giménez, who finished sixth in MVP voting, was the key piece for Cleveland when they traded All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets in 2021.


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