Up until this point, the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) only represented and protected the interests of major league players: minor leaguers were largely on their own.
In 2020, an organization called Advocates for Minor Leaguers was created to offer some help, but couldn’t negotiate anything on behalf of minor leaguers.
Late on Sunday, however, the MLBPA took the first step towards unionizing minor leaguers, sending out union authorization cards that will, per ESPN, “allow minor league players to vote for an election that could make them MLBPA members.”
Things could get really interesting from this point forward, because the league will have to agree to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the MiLB union.
Minor Leaguers Would Finally Have A Voice
Baseball America’s Editor in Chief JJ Cooper offered some insight about the future of minor league teams and rosters if the MiLB unionization takes place.
“If MiLB unionization happens and a CBA is reached between MLB and that union, a key point to remember is that the only way MLB could contract MiLB teams (beyond the current 120) would be by getting that union to agree to the reduction of teams and player jobs,” he tweeted.
If MiLB unionization happens and a CBA is reached between MLB and that union, a key point to remember is that the only way MLB could contract MiLB teams (beyond the current 120) would be by getting that union to agree to the reduction of teams and player jobs.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) August 29, 2022
In the recent past, MLB unilaterally decided to remove player jobs and teams of the minor league calendar.
Now, the process wouldn’t be so simple: if there is a CBA reached between the league and the minor league players union, both parties would have to agree in order to change the current number of teams in MiLB.
Generally speaking, the MLB universe, particularly fans and analysts, have agreed that this move by the MLBPA was necessary: minor leaguers don’t have anyone to protect their interest.
That seems to be close to changing.
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