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Minor League Baseball on reducing number of teams: ‘No agreements on contraction’

Minor League Baseball has issued a statement saying that it has not made any deals to reduce the number of affiliated teams at this point.

Minor League Baseball’s corporate office in Florida (Wikimedia Commons)

“There have been no agreements on contraction or any other issues,” the organization said in its statement on Tuesday afternoon. “MiLB looks forward to continuing the good faith negotiations with MLB on Wednesday as we work toward an agreement that best ensures the future of professional baseball throughout the United States and Canada.”

This disputes an earlier report from J.J. Cooper of Baseball America that said Minor League Baseball could agree to a new deal with Major League Baseball that would reduce the amount of affiliated minor-league teams to 120 from 160.

The potential deal would add two independent teams to Minor League Baseball and remove up to 42 currently affiliated teams. Rookie and short-season Class A leagues would be terminated, according to Cooper’s report.

This would ultimately mean the end of the Phillies rookie league teams and the Class A Williamsport Crosscutters if that deal came to fruition. Now with Minor League Baseball’s new statement, the future of those clubs appears to be a bit up in the air.

With all of baseball on hold due to the spread of COVID-19, it is not clear whether there will be a Minor League Baseball season at all in 2020. Whenever it does return, there seems to be a good chance that its overall structure will not be the same. While no deal of contraction has been made yet, it is certainly quite possible.


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