While labor strife looms in other professional sports, Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) agreed to an extension of their working agreement—three years before it expired.
MLB and MiLB announced today a six-year extension of the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) six years through the 2020 season. The PBA, the agreement that guides the two organizations' relationship, ensures major league teams will field at least 160 minor league affiliates through the life of the extension.
A source confirmed that the only significant change in the agreement is the tax rate on tickets that minor league teams pay major league clubs. The rate was supposed to increase from 6.5 percent to 7 percent after the 2014 season, but will remain at 6.5 percent for an additional two years, the source said. The agreement essentially saves minor league baseball $2 million over the two-year period, the source said.
Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner first broke news of the PBA extension at the Winter Meetings in December, with MLB executive vice president of baseball development Jimmie Lee Solomon confirming that the deal was close to finalized pending approval from commissioner Bud Selig.
"Major League Baseball is very happy to continue its partnership with Minor League Baseball," Selig said in a release today. "Nearly 115 million fans attended major league and minor league games last season, and the security of this agreement will allow us to build on the prosperity that our game has achieved."
"The extension of the Professional Baseball Agreement ensures the future of professional baseball through the end of the decade," O'Conner said in the release. "I would like to thank commissioner Selig for his leadership and support in ushering this agreement to fruition. The major league owners have shown great confidence in our relationship by agreeing to this extension, and the cooperation, hard work and diligence of Jimmie Lee Solomon in spearheading the effort of the Office of the Commissioner exemplifies the trust of our relationship."