Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the Giants will raise pay for its Minor League players in 2020, and begin providing housing or housing allowances at most levels.

The move comes after Major League Baseball announced that it was mandating new minimum salaries for minor leaguers, but the Giants will do it a year before MLB’s mandate, and at the highest level the raise is more than what MLB is ordering.  MLB also gave no guidance regarding housing costs.

“For us, there’s no reason not to do it now instead of waiting another year,” Zaidi told Henry Schulman of the Chronicle.

The raises, as listed in the Chronicle:

  • Triple-A: $750 a week, up from $502, with a $500-a-month housing allowance.  This is $50 a week more than MLB’s new minimum that will start in 2021.
  • Double-A: $600 a week, up from $350.  They will also get a $500-a-month housing allowance
  • High-A: $500 a week, up from $290.  There is no housing allowance, but the team will match with host families as they already do.
  • Low-A: $500 a week, up from $290.  The Giants will also provide housing for players for free at this level.
  • Short-A and Rookie: $400 a week, up from $290. No housing allowance has been reported here.

The raises in Double-A and lower levels match the MLB’s new minimums for the 2021 season.

EDIT 5:20 PM: This section of the story has been updated with new information from the San Francisco Chronicle.

These raises also are only for during the regular season. There appears to be no change to the policy of not paying minor leaguers for Spring Training, nor for any of their required offseason workout or training regimens they take part in.

The reason given is that there is hope that these pay hikes and housing considerations will help the organization in the long run by making players more comfortable and less stressed, and allow for better nutrition than players often eat with meager meal benefits.

It’s notable that the Giants are going to outdo the Major League minimum at the Triple-A level, a level where minor league free agents most often end up playing, and thus there can be a competition for players.

The Giants are not the first team to make a move on paying minor leaguers more unilaterally.  The Toronto Blue Jays did so in 2019, a season before MLB made a league-wide mandate.

The housing allowances are a help, but will definitely demand players get roommates, especially in Sacramento, home of the Giants’ Triple-A players.  That may be the reason there is no housing allowance at all for High-A, which would be the Giants’ San Jose team.  $500 a month would help, but it would also be a laughable amount for the housing costs in the Bay Area.  The Host Family plan is one used by many teams around baseball, but host families are required to charge players rent (the amounts are not always mandated).