On concerns about MLB’s minor-league housing mandate

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MLB is going to mandate that teams provide housing for “certain” minor leaguers, news that was broken on Sunday by ESPN’s Jeff Passan and that we’ve already discussed in this space. However, as was pointed out on Monday, that’s about all we know: that piece mostly focused on the need for housing assistance and why, exactly, MLB has decided to reverse course on the issue now (the short version: they’re trying to appease players who are moving ever-closing to unionizing.) What we’ll focus on this time around, instead, is what the housing assistance should look like. It’s good to get these thoughts in order before the actual shape of things is revealed, so you already know what to look out for and be preemptively mad about.

Back in June, Beyond the Box Score’s Sheryl Ring brought up some legitimate concerns about MLB providing housing for minor-league players, having to do with landlord-tenant relationships, corporate housing, and more:

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MLB could pay MiLB players a living wage, and for their housing, for a relatively paltry sum

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

I wanted to expand a bit on my latest Baseball Prospectus article, which focused on the Astros’ decision to provide furnished apartments for all of their minor-league players in 2021, to talk about just how much doing all of this would cost. Per the original report by Brittany Ghiroli, Houston went ahead with this plan due to the multiple restrictions that playing a minor-league season in the midst of a pandemic entailed, so it’s unclear if housing will still be provided for in 2022. Whether that’s the plan or not, it should be.

It just would not cost that much in the grand scheme of things for every single MLB team to provide housing for their minor-league players each season. As I wrote for BP:

Continue reading “MLB could pay MiLB players a living wage, and for their housing, for a relatively paltry sum”