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Bay Area Lawmaker Proposes Minor League Baseball Players' Bill of Rights

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Legislation introduced in the California Legislature would force Major League Baseball to limit minor league contracts to four seasons and would allow those players to profit off name, image and likeness rights.

State Sen. Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) introduced a Minor League Baseball Players' Bill of Rights on Tuesday and said Advocates for Minor Leaguers partnered on it.

If enacted, S.B. 1248 would apply to players for California minor league teams, those playing for minor league affiliates of California major league clubs and to California residents.

"The national movement that established NCAA players' rights to control their names, likenesses and images began here thanks to the groundbreaking 2019 bill by my colleagues Senator Nancy Skinner and Senator Steven Bradford," Becker said in a statement.

Minor league contracts currently can cover up to seven seasons.

Major League Baseball increased salaries for players with minor league contracts for the 2021 season to a $400 weekly minimum at rookie level, $500 at Class A, $600 at Double-A and $700 at Triple-A.

For players on 40-man rosters on optional or outright assignment to the minors, the minimum is covered by the Major League Baseball Players Association collective bargaining agreement and rises this season to $57,200 for a player signing his first major league contract and to $114,100 for a second or later minor league contract.

"The 30 clubs went into the first season of the modernized player development system focused on addressing longstanding issues that have impacted minor League players for decades," MLB said in a statement. "As part of the new system, teams increased salaries from 38-72% for 2021, improved facilities, provided more amenities and better clubhouse conditions, removed all clubhouse dues, and reduced in-season travel with better geographical alignment.

"Ahead of the second season, we have adopted a new housing policy that is expected to provide more than 90% of assigned minor league players across every level with furnished housing accommodations at each major league club's expense beginning with the 2022 season. The clubs are confident that these investments will help ensure that minor league players have every opportunity to achieve their dreams of becoming major leaguers."

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