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MLBPA Info

Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: When was the MLBPA created? 

A: The Major League Baseball Players Association became a labor union in 1966. Marvin Miller, an economist with the United Steel Workers of America, was chosen by the players to be the Association's first executive director.

 Q: What does the MLBPA do? 

A: The MLBPA is the collective bargaining representative for all current Major League Baseball players. The Association also assists players with grievances and salary arbitration. The Association works closely with MLB in ensuring that the playing conditions for all games involving Major League players, whether the games are played in MLB stadiums or elsewhere, including internationally, meet proper safety guidelines. The Association also serves as the group licensing agent on behalf of the players.

 Q: When was the first Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the players & owners? 

A: The players negotiated their first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1968, giving the players the right to have an independent arbitrator from outside Major League Baseball decide their grievances with the owners.

 Q: Who is eligible for membership in the Association? 

A: All players, managers, coaches and trainers who hold a signed contract with a Major League club are eligible for membership in the Association. In collective bargaining, the Association represents around 1,200 players, or the number of players on each club's 40-man roster, in addition to any players on the disabled list.

 Q: What is the Executive Board? 

A: The Executive Board of the Association consists of the two MLBPA Representatives, the two alternate MLBPA Representatives, the Club Player Representatives and the Pension Committee Representatives. The Executive Board meets two times each year, and it is responsible for directing the affairs of the Association.

 Q: How are the Club Player Representatives chosen? 

A: The Members on each Major League club elect, by secret ballot, a Club Player Representative and an Alternate Player Representative. Each Club Representative serves on the Executive Board and he is responsible for meeting regularly with the players on his Club and represents them in the resolution of problems at the Club level.

 Q: What is the average salary of a Major Leaguer?  

A: In 2013, the average salary was $3,386,212.

 Q: What is the minimum salary of a Major Leaguer?  

A: The minimum salary for the 2014 season is $500,000.

 Q: When does a player become eligible for salary arbitration? 

A: A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a "Super Two" and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 22 percent (increased from 17 percent in previous agreements) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

 Q: What is the record between players and owners in salary arbitration cases? 

Since 1974, and including 2012, arbitrators have ruled on behalf of the players 214 times and clubs 286 times. Although the number of players filing for salary arbitration varies per year, the majority of cases are settled before the arbitration hearing date. Approximately 90 percent of the players filing for arbitration typically reach new agreements before a hearing.

 Q: When does a player become eligible for free agency? 

A: A player with six or more years of Major League service who has not executed a contract for the next season is eligible to become a free agent.

 Q: When does the current CBA expire? 

A: The current CBA expires on Dec. 1, 2016.

 Q: How many strikes or lockouts have there been since 1966? 

A: There have been five strikes (1972, 1980, 1981, 1985 and 1994-95) and the owners have locked out the players three times (1973, 1976 and 1990).

 Q: How much are union dues? 

A: The players' dues are $70 per day during the season.

 Q: How is the players' playoff pool created and how is it distributed? 

A: The players' pool is created from 60 percent of the total gate receipts from the first four World Series games; 60 percent of the total gate receipts from the first four games of each League Championship Series; 60 percent of the total gate receipts from the first three games of each Division Series; and 50 percent of the total gate receipts from each of the two Wild Card games (travel costs for each visiting Wild Card team are deducted before this 50 percent is calculated). The pool is distributed as follows: World Series-winning team: 36 percent; World Series loser: 24 percent; League Championship Series losers (two teams): 12 percent each; Division Series losers (four teams): 3.25 percent each; Wild Card game losers (two teams): 1.5 percent each. The amount that each player receives from the pool is determined by a vote of the players on the team. This vote takes place at a team meeting held before the final game of the regular season.

 Q: What is the active player roster limit? 

A: In accordance with Major League Rule 2 (c), beginning on Opening Day of each season and ending at midnight, August 31, the Club roster limit is 25, provided that the minimum number of active players maintained by each Club be 24. However, as of 2012, Clubs will be allowed 26-man rosters for day-night doubleheaders. If the roster is reduced below 24 then the Club shall, within 48 hours (plus time necessary for a player to report), bring its roster back to the minimum of 24. Beginning on September 1 and ending with the close of the Championship Season, the roster limit is expanded to 40.

 Q: What is group licensing? 

A: Any company seeking to use the names or likenesses of more than two Major League Baseball players in connection with a commercial product, product line or promotion must sign a licensing agreement with the MLBPA. The license grants the use of the players' names and/or likenesses only and not the use of any MLB team logos or marks. Examples of products licensed by the MLBPA include trading cards, video games, T-shirts, caps, a wide variety of other products such as pennants, posters, pins, action figures and advertising campaigns for a wide variety of products and services.

 Q: How is licensing revenue distributed? 

A: Players receive a pro rata share of licensing revenue regardless of popularity or stature. Each player share is determined by his actual days of Major League service in a given season.

 Q: What is the Major League Baseball Players Trust? 

A: The Players Trust is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit foundation created by the players in 1996 to assist charities around the world. The Trust is funded through player and public donations, a percentage of licensing revenue and through revenue produced from Association special events. In 2002, the Players Trust entered a long-term partnership with Volunteers of America called “Share with a Child” in which the two organizations share resources to benefit those in need and encourage community activism. Another major initiative of the Players Trust is Buses for Baseball, a program that transports at-risk youth to Major League baseball games where they get to meet the players, receive free tickets, game programs, T-shirts and concessions.

 Q: How does an individual become a certified player agent? 
To represent or advise a player in negotiating the terms of a Major League contract, an agent must first be certified by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Individuals who recruit players on behalf of agents, or who provide certain services to players on behalf of agents, also must have MLBPA certification. To become certified by the MLBPA, a prospective agent, recruiter or service provider must first: a) be designated by a Major League Player as his representative, or by a certified agent as a recruiter or service provider; b) read, understand and agree to all MLBPA Regulations Governing Player Agents, and c) submit a completed application for certification along with a non-refundable $500 application fee. Here is a link to the instructions, regulations and necessary forms.

 Q: How many agents are certified by the MLBPA? 

A: The Association has more than 300 certified agents on record.

 Q: Does the Association limit the percentage an agent can earn from negotiating a client's salary? 

A: Just as the Association endorses a free market system for its players in negotiating contracts with Club owners, the agent fee is negotiated freely between the player and his agent. The only stipulation is that the agent cannot charge a fee unless the player's salary negotiated exceeds the Major League minimum (currently $490,000). If the salary negotiated does exceed the minimum, any fee charged may not, when subtracted from the salary negotiated, produce a net salary to the player below or equal to the minimum salary. Bonuses constitute salary only if earned.

 Q: When did the Major League Baseball Players Association launch its first website? 

A: The PA launched Bigleaguers.com at the All-Star Game in Cleveland in July 1997. The original Bigleaguers.com featured interactive tools that allowed the players to exchange emails with fans and post text and photographs. It became a popular baseball destination in the early days of the Web as players gave daily online chats with fans, Monday through Friday, and provided unique player-generated content.

 Q: Does the MLBPA have an internship program? 

A: For legal internships, qualified students are encouraged to apply via the Peggy Browning Fund.

For internships in the Business Affairs department, qualified students are encouraged to send a cover letter along with a resume to feedback@mlbpa.org with the word "Internship" in the subject line.