Minor League Baseball Likely Dropping to 120 Teams

This story got lost in the Coronavirus shuffle, but you might remember a few months ago that Major League Baseball proposed cutting guaranteed Minor League affiliations from 160 teams to 120.

Via Baseball America:

When MLB and MiLB negotiators convene on a teleconference on Wednesday, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations say MiLB will indicate that it agrees to 120 affiliated teams in a new PBA.

Now MiLB is expected to signal its assent to a system going forward where each MLB team will have four full-season affiliates, plus one Rookie-level team at its spring training complex. Such a move fulfills the largest remaining demand MLB has requested in these negotiations. MLB teams have looked to reduce the number of affiliates each team has. MLB had already reached agreement last month with the MLB Players Association to cut the number of rounds in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, which will almost assuredly cut the number of players MLB teams sign each year.

If both sides agree, it would mean as many as 42 current minor league teams would be lopped off by eliminating short-season and Rookie ball. Two independent league teams, the St. Paul Saints and Sugar Land Skeeters, would be added to affiliated ball. The two sides are working on a potential deal to ensure the majority of those 42 markets would have still have baseball with ties to MLB in a system that has long-term viability.

The Williamsport Crosscutters are the Phillies’ short-season affiliate, and they’re on the chopping block, according to 2019 reports from Baseball America and The New York Times. The four remaining affiliates, per the new plan, would be Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater, Lakewood, and then the GCL Phils playing down in Florida.

This contraction idea drew a lot of headlines at the time, to the point where Bernie Sanders even got involved and expressed his disapproval with Major League Baseball, writing this:

And then COVID-19 hit, so here we are.

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6 Responses

  1. Source is telling me Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy‘s draft stock may drop due to reported knee issues that haven’t been disclosed yet. Jeudy underwent surgery for a meniscus injury in 2018. #NFLDraft2020

  2. CeeDee Lamb’s stock is rising sharply. He outran a Police Dog for 50 yards before being caught from behind.

  3. aww man, who will the chick from the 975 morning show date now that her 1/4 chocolate bench warming PM is unemployed?

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