Report: MLB proposal would eliminate dozens of minor league teams

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Major League Baseball is proposing drastic changes in the Minor League system that would eliminate as many as 42 teams, according to J.J. Cooper of Baseball America.

The current agreement between Major League Baseball and the minor league teams, called the Professional Baseball Agreement, expires at the end of the 2020 season.

The goal of the new proposal would be to improve facility quality and player pay. Although it would help some, it would also hurt others. The proposal would impact a number of teams ability to develop talent, while cutting a number of players’ jobs.

Baseball America was the first to report the proposal and detail the restructuring.

The proposal would slash the number of affiliated minor league teams from 160 to 120 by 2021, which would significantly change the way the development system works.

The league issued a statement to the New York Times explaining ongoing talks,

“We are in discussions with the owners of the Minor League teams to reorganize elements of the system with the goal of improving the working conditions of minor league players. Including upgrading the facilities to Major League standards, increasing player compensation, reducing travel time between affiliates for road games, improving transportation and hotel accommodations, increasing the number of off days, and providing better geographical affiliations between the MLB clubs and affiliates.”

Cooper reported the 42 teams that would lose affiliation would join a “Dream League,” which would be run by the MLB and Minor League Baseball. This would include players who were not selected in the draft.

Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner said in a statement to the New York Times, “We are engaged with Major League Baseball on a successor agreement to the PBA. It’s early in the negotiations, and that’s the most I can say.”

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