The first-ever collective bargaining agreement in minor league baseball history is near, a landmark moment in the sport’s history, and for the players in particular.

Around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Major League Baseball Players Association leadership notified thousands of minor league players that the union had reached a tentative five-year agreement with MLB. Minor leaguers are now voting whether to formally accept that deal, a process union officials said they expect to be finished by midnight entering Friday.

Both sides technically need to ratify the deal, and it’s possible MLB owners might need beyond Friday to do so. But with both sides’ leadership in agreement, ratification is ultimately expected, and the parties were able to reach a deal in time for minor league Opening Day, which is Friday.

The deal — which would have sounded outlandish just a year ago, when minor leaguers didn’t have a union — provides raises to players and a slew of other improvements, including the creation of a formal grievance procedure with access to neutral arbitrators in most instances, union officials said.