Rule 56 – Standard Player Development Contract


To establish an affiliation between a MLB club and a MiL club, the teams must sign the standard Player Development Contract (“PDC”). The teams may not enter into any other operating agreement and may not amend the standard PDC. No club may solicit benefits beyond those provided in the standard PDC. Violations may be subject to fines up to $500,000. A MiL club may affiliate with more than one MLB club by entering into 2+ PDCs. A MLB club may affiliate with no more than one club per classification and sub-classification level without approval from the Commissioner.


The ML Rules and the PBA shall be incorporated in all PDCs.

Duration and Termination

No one provision of a PDC may extend beyond the terms of the expiration of the PDC itself. Duration shall be either 2 years or 4 years, expiring in even years. PDCs entered into in odd years may be for less than 2 years but must expire in even years. If neither party terminates the PDC, it shall constitute an automatic renewal for two years.


  • Between the end of the season and September 11 in a PDC’s expiration year, a team may terminate its PDC by written notice to the Commissioner or the MiL President. The Commissioner has the right to deny such termination in the best interests of baseball.
  • Between September 12 and 15, the Commissioner shall notify the clubs of approved termination notices.
  • Between September 16 and 30, clubs receiving notification may negotiate with new clubs for an affiliation at the same classification level, and may enter into such affiliations.
  • Teams must enter into PDCs on or before October 7, or be subject to forced affiliations with other remaining clubs upon the decision of the Commissioner.
  • New PDCs shall result in termination of old PDCs as of September 30.
  • No MLB club may induce a MiL club to enter into a PDC based on promising benefits beyond that of a standard PDC. Violations will be subject to penalties from the Commissioner.

Other Affiliation Changes

If a team desires to change its affiliation during the term of its PDC, the team shall notify the Commissioner and the MiL President in writing. The club may not enter into negotiations with other clubs for new affiliations during this time. The Commissioner shall make best efforts to arrange the affiliation change. Any attempt to do so shall be considered tampering.


A PDC shall be assignable by a MLB club only if: (1) the team desires to reduce affiliates; (2) the team desires to reconfigure the number of affiliates at particular classification levels; or (3) if the Commissioner determines that an assignment would be in the best interests of the team. In the event of a desired assignment, the MLB club shall notify the Commissioner and the MiL President. The Commissioner will determine whether another club desires the assignment. The MiL club shall be notified of the desire assignment prior to November 1 of the season on which the affiliation change would be effective.

Rights and Obligations

  • Roster – The MLB club shall provide the roster on the MiL affiliate. The players shall be exclusively under contract with the MLB Club. The MiL club may not interfere with these contracts.
  • Promotional Appearances – the MiL club shall have a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to exercise promotional rights and the player photographs of the players assigned to its team, subject to quality control standards.
  • Assignments – the player lists may be assigned to the MiL club. The MiL club shall not interfere with the MLB club to assign a player to another team or affiliate.
  • Field Staff – the MLB club shall have the sole right to select the managers, coaches, instructors, and trainers.
  • Allocation of Expenses
    • Salaries – MLB club is responsible for player salaries and benefits
    • Spring Training – MLB club shall be responsible for all spring training expenses
    • Travel – MLB club shall be responsible for the travel expenses of players and field staff to and from their homes, and to and from other teams and affiliates.
    • Uniforms – the MiL club shall provide uniforms
    • Bats and Balls – shared costs between MLB club and MiL club. The MiL club shall appoint an equipment manager. Season-end inventory shall be property of the MLB club.
    • Trainer and Medical Supplies – The MLB club shall provide a trainer at its own expense.
    • Reimbursements – the MLB clubs shall be responsible for reimbursement of expenses, including meal allowances, transportation home, hotel expenses for more than 17 rooms per night, and in league travel expenses for any more than 30 individuals.
    • Telephone Service – MiL club shall provide basic phone service for the manager. The MLB club is responsible for long distance charges.
    • Clubhouses – the MiL club maintain a home and visitor’s clubhouse.
    • Post-season awards – If the MiL club wins its league championship, the MiL club shall be responsible fort the award, such as a championship ring.
  • Disciplinary Action – the MiL club may recommend that the MLB club take disciplinary action against any player for rules violations.


The MiL club shall adhere to the official schedule and may not play exhibition games not set forth in the schedule

Playing Facility

The MiL club shall provide a ballpark that complies with Rule 58

Relocation or League Change

Any proposal by a MiL club for relocation or league change must first be approved by its affiliate MLB club.

National Emergencies

During a national emergency that suspends play, either party mat temporarily suspend its obligations.

Extent of Club’s Obligations

Other than provided in these rules, the clubs do no assume any obligations from one another


Any notice under these rules shall be made by registered mail, certified mail, or telegram. Notice shall be deemed received upon sending.


Executed copies of the standard PDC shall be filed with the Commissioner, the MiL President, and the league president.