PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Nobody is against a pay raise, and for minor league baseball players across the country, this has been a long time coming.

Last Wednesday, members of Major League Baseball and minor leagues who are a part of the Major League Baseball Players Association reached a collective bargaining agreement, first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The CBA is notable for minor leaguers who have been asking for a pay raise for years before this. The deal guarantees higher salaries at all levels of the MiLB. Every level will at least double their income, while the lowest level will triple it. 

The pay changes will look like this:

  • Complex league: From $4,800 to $19,800 per year
  • Low-A: $11,000 to $26,200
  • High-A: $11,000 to $27,300
  • AA: $13,800 to $30,250
  • AAA: $17,500 to $35,800
  • This will include players getting paid retroactively for four weeks of spring training. 

Player leadership has agreed to the CBA but is waiting on the approval from the MLB owners which will come after the league office has negotiated it.

This deal will also include a change in the Domestic Reserve List, which governs players from an organization outside of Latin America. It will be reducing its maximum from 180 to 165 players during the regular season starting in 2024.

While there is much more included in the deal with housing and protection, Izaac Pocheco and Jace Jung of the Whitecaps were both thrilled to see the changes come.

“I think what the players association was able to get for us will really benefit people,” Jung said. “People can now live off of it a little bit more, even in the offseason. I think it’s just great for baseball in general. People looked at the minor leagues like it was tough living. I think we got a little bit better with that this offseason, helping people out that really need it.”

Pacheco has experienced the minor leagues for a couple of seasons now, being drafted by Detroit in the second round of 2021.

He said this is a world of difference in money from what he was expected to live off in past years. 

“To see it change like this is just really cool,” Pacheco said. “Having the materials that we have now to become better baseball players is really good for the future. We feel fortunate to be baseball players right now.”

Manager Brayan Peña, who has been coaching the minor leagues since 2018 and has been with West Michigan since 2019, wants to make sure the players are in the right position to stay in professional baseball to receive these benefits. 

“Me, personally, I don’t have that much to say because I don’t know everything that went down and I know they are still working on it,” Peña said. “At the same time, our game is doing a tremendous job with the players. At the end of the day, that’s exactly what we want. We want them to go out there and enjoy what they do and that’s what we are here for.”

The Whitecaps open the 2023 campaign against the Fort Wayne TinCaps Thursday at 6:30 p.m. from LMCU Ballpark.