Why MLB Provided Housing for Minor Leaguers is a HUGE Deal
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
It was recently announced that the MLB teams would be providing housing to all minor league players within their organization. This is a huge, huge deal. For the longest, minor leaguers were on their own to pay for their housing while playing in various cities throughout the United States (and Canada). Some may say, “well my company doesn’t pay for my housing.” Yeah that’s true, but how many different places do you live? Let me tell you why this is not a good comparison.
The minor league season lasts from approximately March-September. After the season is over, players go back to their actual homes and spend their time getting back into shape for the next season. A large majority of players have a family with a house back in their home-town, and if not they have an apartment by themselves. So think about it, players are paying for two different places to live. Players with a house back home are paying a mortgage on that house, while also paying rent on the place they are living throughout the season. Oh yeah, have you seen how much minor leaguers make? If you don't already know, I wouldn't google it unless you want to throw up. On top of all this, players are only getting paychecks during the months they are playing.
See why it’s not necessarily a great comparison? Most people permanently live where they work, baseball players do for ¾ of the year. Another aspect of this that people don’t always think of is what happens when a player gets moved up. Say a player gets promoted from High A to Double A, what happens to the 4 month lease they signed on their apartment? Well, you either hope someone is moving up and can take it over, the team will cover it, or you might just be screwed. The player might be taking on an impossible task of paying not only their mortgage back home, but also two rent payments. On top of all this, the player is expected to play baseball (a mentally tasking sport) at a very high level while trying to balance this. See how this could get difficult?
This is why what MLB has done is such a big deal. Not only does it chop the financial burden tremendously, but it also frees up minor leaguers to just worry about doing their job. It hasn’t been announced whether teams will pay rent directly or give a stipend, but quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. Anything is going to go a long long way. Hats off to the MLB for doing the right thing and investing in their product. I promise it is an investment that will pay off.