Happy Tuesday, Athletics Nation!
Late Sunday night, there were rumblings more or less out of nowhere that the Major League Baseball Players Association was backing minor league players and starting efforts towards the unionization of Minor League Baseball. MLBPA sent authorization cards to minor leaguers, surveying if farm team players want to be represented by the Player’s Association. This is an initial step to gauge internal support, and to start building momentum towards a full push to a minors union.
As reported by The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, the MLBPA will be following standard protocol for confidentiality when it comes to these authorization cards. Once results are in, the MLBPA will present the total cards to the National Labour Relations Board to show the player’s want for a minor league union. With 30% of potential players responding with the cards the MLBPA could then push for a general vote for unionization that would require a 50% approval threshold to pass.
Advocates For Minor Leaguers, a nonprofit that had led a strong push towards minors unionization since 2020 has had all of its members join the MLBPA in new roles, and has disbanded the nonprofit. This serves as passing of the torch, but also a show of how seriously this is being taken by the MLBPA, moving from third parties advocating to direct steps towards unionization.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara, the A’s and the team’s union representative Cole Irvin fully support the assistance from MLBPA.
There has yet to be a response from MLB. Likely they will stay quiet until a figure of support is known from players in the minors, but the growing sentiment likely means that a minor league representation is on the way. This follows advocation by MLB players during the lockout, as while they could not directly negotiate on behalf of then-unrepresented minor league players, they could still affect general bonuses and team spending figures. This is just the start of what could be a particularly heady and protracted stretch between minor league players, the MLBPA, and MLB.
Roster Moves, Transactions, and Injuries
- Kawahara: ‘It’s overdue’; Giants, A’s reps back minor-league unionization movement ($)
- Kroner: How baseball bonds A’s scout John Hughes and his son, bullpen catcher Dustin ($)
- Lockard: A’s minor-league notes: 54 prospects headed to fall instructional league camp ($)
MLB News & Interest
- Drellich: MLBPA wants to unionize minor leaguers, takes first step by sending authorization cards to players ($)
- ESPN: MLBPA sends out union authorization cards in first step toward unionizing minor leaguers
- Adams: MLBPA Taking First Steps Toward Unionizing Minor League Players
- Schoenfield: Aaron Judge vs. Shohei Ohtani: How to compare two radically different MVP contenders
- ESPN: Cincinnati Reds’ Ross Detwiler becomes record 450th pitcher to allow home run to St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols
- Jaffe: Paul Goldschmidt Is Making a Run at the Triple Crown(s)
- Mintz: Orioles rookie Adley Rutschman is already MLB’s best catcher
- Biertempfel: My night as a minor-league mascot: Sweating and dancing as the Curve’s Al Tuna ($)
- Today in Baseball History
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