(WHNT) — Major League Baseball (MLB) will require teams to provide housing for minor league players starting with the 2022 season, according to a report from ESPN.
MLB has not outlined this plan yet, but several officials with MLB teams have already begun to prepare to help house players across the minor league farm system.
“This is a historic victory for minor league baseball players,” said Harry Marino, former minor league player turned executive director of Advocates of Minor Leaguers.
“When we started talking to players this season about the difficulties they face, finding and paying for in-season housing was at the top of almost every player’s list. As a result, addressing that issue became our top priority,” Marino told ESPN.
This news comes on the heels of several reports regarding low pay and difficult living conditions for minor league players, including multiple Trash Pandas players speaking out.
An earlier ESPN article that featured Rocket City Trash Pandas pitcher Kieran Lovegrove, stated that Lovegrove along with six other teammates shared a three-bedroom apartment with one person sleeping in the kitchen and two others in the living room.
Lovegrove told ESPN reporter Joon Lee that he has worked multiple jobs to keep his professional baseball career funded.
“It’s gotten to the point now where there are guys who are in a serious mental health crisis because of how stressful money is here,” Lovegrove told ESPN. “I really do think it affects not only their play on the field, but I think it affects quality of life overall.”
News 19 spoke with Trash Pandas Manager Jay Bell earlier this year, asking if he was aware of Lovegrove’s comments.
“You don’t get paid like you do at the major league level as a minor leaguer,” Bell said. “I have two boys that are playing and I know exactly how much money they are making, and it’s a difficult lifestyle for those players. My older son just had a child yesterday and so money is certainly a concern.”
“It is something that matters to these guys,” Bell concluded. “What I would recommend to anybody who is trying to have dialogue would be to have dialogue that honors the person you’re trying to get your point across to.”