Players who appeared in the major leagues for less than four years from 1947-79 will receive payments of up to $10,000 in each of the next two years under an agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' association.
At least 904 players will receive money under the agreement, according to Dan Foster, chief executive officer of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
The payments will be funded mostly from money paid from the luxury tax assessed each year on high-spending teams. Of the $209.8 million in tax money raised since 2003, $192.2 million has been contributed by the Yankees.
"Sometimes in life, it's just the right thing to do," Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday. "I believe baseball is a social institution, and with that comes social responsibilities."
Until 1980, players needed four years to vest in the pension plan. Since then, players need just one day in the majors to vest.
Selig won't touch Bonds' records
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will not consider changing Barry Bonds' records following the slugger's conviction on obstruction of justice last week. Bonds holds the career (762) and season (73) home run records, breaking marks set by Hank Aaron (755) and Mark McGwire (70).
During a meeting Thursday with the Associated Press Sports Editors, Selig said, "In life there's always got to be pragmatism. I think that anybody who understands the sport understands exactly why."
Fewer black players in baseball
The percentage of black players in the major leagues dropped again on opening day this year even as the sport again received a top overall grade for racial diversity. The percentage of black players dropped to 8.5 percent, down from 10 percent at the start of last season and its lowest level since 2007. Baseball received an A for racial diversity in hiring in a study by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.
■ Left fielder Ryan Braun signed a $105 million, five-year contract extension with the Brewers on Thursday. Braun is signed through 2020, making it the longest commitment to a player in franchise history. Braun is one of five players in history to hit 125 homers and bat .300 over the first four seasons of his career.
■ Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison could miss two to four weeks because of an injured left foot. The Marlins' leader in home runs (four) and RBI (11) sprained his foot Tuesday in his first at-bat against Pittsburgh.
■ Twins infielder Delmon Young will undergo an MRI examination on Friday to determine the extent of a rib injury that has kept him out of the lineup since Monday.
■ Mets outfielder Jason Bay was activated from the disabled list Thursday. The three-time All-Star missed nearly half of 2010 with a concussion and the first few weeks of this season with a strained left rib cage.