ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the 2023 baseball season is set to begin, players on the Albuquerque Isotopes have a little extra juice. In a recent development, Minor League Baseball players reached a new collective bargaining agreement with MLB which includes pay increases. Among the changes, salaries have gone up from $17,500 to $35,800.

“Anytime that Minor League Baseball players can have an advancement of any shape is awesome, because for 100 years, it’s been kind of a struggle,” said Isotopes infielder Cole Tucker.

“It’s definitely something that needed to happen, and it’s really exciting that these guys are going to start to get taken care of,” infielder Nolan Jones said.

While it’s a new season with a new CBA and even a new scoreboard, the focus around the team remains to build a winning ballclub. Since the Colorado Rockies became the Major League affiliate of the Isotopes in 2015, the ‘Topes have yet to finish a season with a record above .500. First-year Manager Pedro Lopez hopes to turn the team into a winner, and with four of the Rockies top 25 prospects on the opening day roster, there is some momentum.

“It’s a lot easier to develop when you are winning, and that’s the message that was sent to the players this morning,” said Lopez. “You know, we have to go out there, and we have to win.”

The Isotopes open the season on Friday, March 31, on the road against Round Rock. The team will host its home opener on April 4 to kick off a six-game homestand against Salt Lake.