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.