MLB wants to cut back on the minors

Rookie and short-season leagues would be eliminated, a total of 42 teams in all, and the MLB draft would also be moved later in the summer and shortened. This could affect college baseball in two ways: Fewer draft picks, but also some markets that currently have low-level MiLB teams could be more favorable for colleges in those areas as baseball fans would lose their local pro team. MLB is negotiating with the minors to make these changes after the 2020 season, according to Baseball America.

Existing minor leagues also would be shuffled to more of a geographic basis to reduce travel time/costs. Some of the 42 eliminated teams could join a so-called Super League, which would be a joint MLB-MiLB venture offering independent teams for undrafted talent. And each MLB team would only be able to have 150-200 minor league players under contract in its farm system; the Yankees, with eight farm teams, currently have 285 under contract. This could be in combination with a pay raise for the players who remain under contract; as noted on the board earlier this month, many minor league players are getting paid peanuts.

Not all of the eliminated teams would be rookie or short-season. Some of those might be promoted into higher level leagues and existing teams in those higher level leagues terminated. Facilities would play a role here, as teams with inadequate ballparks would be more likely to lose their spots.

Minor league reorganization?

I just read an article in The Athletic about this issue. The MiLB contends that MLB is not negotiating in good faith, but trying to impose their own will. There have only been three negotiation meetings in the last six months.

The negotiations cover a bevy of topics tied to one basic question: who pays?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said he intends to provide better pay for minor leaguers. Better accommodations for players are also sought, which includes everything from sleeper buses to more urinals.

By Evan Drellich Oct 19, 2019

This could also mean that more college players stay four seasons. Without rookie ball, it would make sense that they need to fine tune their games in college, not be dumped into high Class A.