Photo credit: sbnation.com
By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
During the Winter Meetings in San Diego last week, Major League Baseball (MLB) proposed eliminating 42 minor league teams. That is approximately 25 percent of all the minor league teams in the country. This is planned to happen after next year.
One minor league owner already said: “It’s never going to happen”.
What this signals is just the beginning of a very rough period for baseball. The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) covers the working arrangement between Major League Baseball and Minor League teams and will expire after the 2020 season.
The fight has already reached the political arena, where Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Party candidate running for President out of Vermont, strongly opposed the idea. By the way, the Oakland Athletics have a minor league team in Vermont in the Vermont Lake Monsters of Class-A. But you do not need to be a politician to understand how such a reduction of teams will do nothing but hurt the game of baseball, not to mention the cities where they play, the economy of those cities (less revenues and less people hired to work in the stadiums), the reputation (identities) of those cities that would lose a minor league team. The minor leagues serve a purpose to provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues.The minor league system in is as old as MLB dating back to 1901
According to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, several key issues are at the heart of debate, including potential increases in player compensation as well as the need for facility upgrades, team relocation and the feasibility of a Dream League, which would replace affiliated baseball in the cities that stand to lose their team under the version of the plan known to the public.
All listed below.
– Player Welfare
– Team Travel
– Clubhouse Conditions
– Player Salaries
– Dream League
– Public Financing
– League Realignment
Here are the A’s minor league franchises: Las Vegas Aviators, Midland Rockhounds, Stockton Ports, Beloit Snappers, Vermont Lake Monsters and AZL Athletics.
Here are the Giants’ minor league franchises: Sacramento River Cats, Richmond Flying Squirrels, San José Giants, Augusta Green Jackets, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and AZL Giants.
Moreover, it is unclear which 42 teams MLB has proposed to eliminate.