Major League Baseball announced Sunday that owners had unanimously decided to begin providing housing for minor league players, an issue on which the league was facing public pressure from players and advocacy groups.
"In mid-September, the owners discussed the issue of player housing and unanimously agreed to begin providing housing to certain minor league players," MLB said in a statement. "We are in the process of finalizing the details of that policy and expect it to be announced and in place for the 2022 season.”
Harry Marino, executive director of the Advocates for Minor Leaguers organization, credited players for speaking up and organizing to help rally public opinion.
"Drawing on each other's courage, minor leaguers across the country came forward to speak honestly about their living conditions," Marino said in a statement. "It was this unprecedented behavior – minor league players unifying and utilizing their collective voice – that ultimately upset the status quo."
The league has improved salaries for minor leaguers, which MLB says is part of a larger effort to "modernize" the minor league system.
"In 2021, we increased the salaries for minor league players by 38-72%, depending on level, and significantly reduced travel requirements during the season." MLB's statement said. "In addition, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of improvements to minor league ballparks around the country are already underway, including substantial renovations to player-facing facilities like locker rooms and training rooms."
Marino said his group's next priority is further improving on salaries.
"Most minor leaguers make less than $15,000 per year and won't receive their next paycheck until April," Marino said. "For the next six months, they will spend hours each day training – as required by contract – while trying to balance second and third jobs to make ends meet."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB to provide housing for minor league baseball players next year