Red Sox

Red Sox will offer additional pay, housing stipends to Minor League players

On average, Minor League players make less than $15,000 per year.

Red Sox
The Red Sox will offer additional pay and benefits to Minor Leaguers. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Red Sox will offer additional benefits to Minor League players, including extended spring training back pay and a housing stipend retroactive to early May.

Advocacy group Advocates for Minor Leaguers first reported the news. The Red Sox confirmed the changes to Boston.com.

“The Red Sox are committed to providing the best resources for our players both on and off the field at the major and minor league levels,” the team said in a statement. “We are pleased to extend this additional support to our minor league players as they continue their development in our organization.”

Advocates for Minor Leaguers tweeted out the news on Tuesday, asking “Which team is next?”

The group called the decision a “significant step in the right direction” in a statement to Boston.com.

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“It is proof that when Minor League players speak with a collective voice, they are heard,” the group wrote. “We look forward to continuing to provide that voice in the weeks and months to come, for there is much work yet to be done.”

The Red Sox joined a handful of teams who have offered additional benefits to players in their farm system.

Major League owners face increased pressure to compensate their Minor Leaguers, particularly from groups like Advocates for Minor Leaguers — an organization largely made up of former Minor League players who experienced the challenges of the farm system. As noted on the group’s website, Minor Leaguers have no union and are only paid during the season even though they are contractually required to train all year long.

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Two of the issues highlighted by the group are extended spring training and housing. Most players who participate in extended spring training were not assigned to one of a team’s Minor-League clubs. Spring training, however, is generally unpaid for Minor Leaguers, and extended spring training is no exception. A player who is not assigned to a Single-A roster might go from March to June without receiving a paycheck.

Housing is another complicated issue. Minor Leaguers need a place to live, but finding an apartment on a short-term lease is difficult especially given their salaries and fluid status. Players who room together run the risk of being on the hook for the rent on their own if their roommate is called up or sent back.

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According to the Associated Press, minimum salaries for Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A are $500, $600, and $700 per week respectively, paid exclusively during the season.

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