The minor leagues approved a seven-year contract with the major leagues by a 27-9 vote on Thursday.

The vote by the National Association of the Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, was exactly the 75 percent minimum required for approval. Major league owners ratified the Professional Baseball Agreement on Tuesday."The majors and the minors must work together to ensure the best, and most orderly, system of developing talent for big league play," National Association president Sal Artiaga said.

"Our vote is an endorsement of that view of a relationship that dates back to the turn of the century," he said. "On the other hand, many of our teams have told me they are still deeply concerned about the bargaining process and the sweeping changes represented by the new PBA."

The contract may be reopened after four years.