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Friday, October 18, 2019

BA: MLB floats proposal that would eliminate 42 minor league teams.

Dramatic stuff here. Reduction of teams, moving teams/leagues around in classifications or eliminating them, moving and shrinking the draft, cost shifting from MLB to MILB, some indy teams might join the affiliated minors in the proposal… big, big changes have been proposed.

Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:50 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, draft, minors

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   1. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5891703)
This would be the biggest news for minor league baseball in many decades.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5891706)
cost shifting from MLB to MILB
I'm shocked.
   3. Itchy Row Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5891709)
42 in honor of Jackie Robinson
   4. Bote Man sez Davey is MoY Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5891713)
Some of these minor league teams have ballooned in value.
   5. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5891714)
Also (per JJ Cooper, the author), this could be a preliminary move with the cutting of 30 more clubs in a future negotiation.

I think it makes sense to have lots of minor league affiliates if you are allowed to. As an industry, I don't think it does -- outside of as advertising for the big league product, which is under-discussed imo.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5891717)
RTFA - lots of changes proposed. MLB appears confident that neither Congress nor the Courts will revisit its anti-trust exemption.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5891728)
So many ideas, and so many of them seem dumb to me. This all seems to be leverage in the PBA negotiation - "upgrade the facilities on your dime (taxpayer dimes) or we simply end our affiliation with all of you". I don't get the point of limiting how many affiliates each team can have? Is that just a "salary cap" of sorts on expenditures to make sure there isn't an arms race? What is the point of moving the draft to August? I guess to help those high school kids in summer showcases and maybe some cold weather college teams?

Also, the "Dream League" is about the dumbest name for what it is.
   8. The_Ex Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5891739)
MLB has to pay the minor leaguers more, maybe not now but in the next few years. If you keep the budget the same, then you reduce the number of players. Eliminate short season leagues, delay the draft, and go to a 4 or 5 level system instead of six (not counting complex leagues, owned by the clubs themselves).

   9. The_Ex Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5891746)
JJ Cooper has now corrected one item, the draft would move to after the CWS, but not as late as August.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5891749)
The independent Can-Am League - which was down to 5 teams (2 Can, 3 Am) - just merged with the Frontier League to make a 14-team league called..... the Frontier League.

Each 7-team division will have a team called the Miners, fwiw

96-game sked, mid-May til Labor Day
   11. winnipegwhip Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5891752)
RTFA - lots of changes proposed. MLB appears confident that neither Congress nor the Courts will revisit its anti-trust exemption.


Well we now know that 535 seats for the World Series games in Washington have been spoken for.
   12. winnipegwhip Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5891754)
The proposal even suggests a pair of independent league clubs—in St. Paul, Minn., and Sugar Land, Texas—would be brought into affiliated ball.


A question for fans of independent teams....would you rather be part of lower level minors or a fan of a team which is looking to win their league?
   13. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5891755)
Dear Mister Commissioner,

There are too many minor league teams. Please eliminate 42 of them.

I can't say the rest.
   14. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5891774)
I don't like these ideas, as a rule, but that's as a fan, AG#1F. Many make sense to me, if they can limit the legal liability.
--
Each 7-team division will have a team called the Miners, fwiw

Perfect for a league with teams in Canada.
--
whip, are you a Winnipeg person? If so, do you root for the Goldeyes?
   15. The Duke Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:48 PM (#5891777)
8. You have it right - trying to cut costs so they can raise salaries
   16. GregD Posted: October 18, 2019 at 08:21 PM (#5891789)
I am going to bet on cutting costs and not raising salaries.

   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2019 at 08:44 PM (#5891792)
This seems shitty.
   18. stevegamer Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:42 PM (#5891820)
This is horrible.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:32 PM (#5891829)
if most of these teams join existing independent leagues - or form new ones - wouldn't that mitigate some of the damage, at least?

I don't think a lot of 8-year-olds will be refusing to attend games next summer because their computer flow chart of the entire MLB system doesn't list the local 9 anymore
   20. greenback slays lewks Posted: October 19, 2019 at 01:38 AM (#5891842)
if most of these teams join existing independent leagues - or form new ones - wouldn't that mitigate some of the damage, at least?

Places like Kingsport and Idaho Falls can't support an indy league team. They aren't viable without the subsidies provided by MLB. It's always been weird that grade-C prospects from California suburbs and from the Dominican are shipped to Appalachian #### holes to play against one another anyway.
   21. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 19, 2019 at 02:59 AM (#5891846)
One man's #### hole is another man's #### castle!
   22. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:56 AM (#5891850)
Johnson City is one of the more enjoyable places of its size in the US of A. I'm going to miss the Appalachian League. It feels like this has been brewing for a long time.
   23. winnipegwhip Posted: October 19, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5891853)
Der-K

Yes I am from Winnipeg and I am a Goldeyes fan.

   24. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: October 19, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5891856)
In the larger independent leagus it seems that teams do best when they are in metro areas that have MLB teams. The American Association has two teams in Chicagoland, two team in the Dallas Metroplex, and teams in or near Milwaukee, Kansas City, and St Paul. Sioux City is the only city in the AA with a metro area under 100K. The Frontier League has three teams in Chicagoland, three in the extended NY/NJ suburbs of NYC, and a team in the exurbs of each of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and St Louis. No Frontier League metro area is under 100K, though the Carbondale metro area (which includes Marion) is 127K and pretty dispersed. The Atlantic League has three teams in the NYC exurbs, a team in metro Houston, and a team in metro DC.

I guess the hope for indy ball in smaller places would be the Pecos League. Teams in lots of places of reasonable size (Tucson, Santa Fe, Bakersfield), but somehow they've also managed to keep a team in Garden City, KS for four years.


   25. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: October 19, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5891860)
Because the markets for most Appalachian and Pioneer league clubs are unlikely to be able to support the increased costs of the Dream League, teams in those leagues would instead be encouraged to form summer wood bat amateur teams under the auspices and organization of MLB.
Seems like the negative impact of MiLB reorganization would extend to the Cape Cod and Northwoods Leagues.
   26. Uncle Willy Posted: October 19, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5891865)
A question for fans of independent teams....would you rather be part of lower level minors or a fan of a team which is looking to win their league?


Here in NJ, my local team is the Somerset Patriots (Atlantic League). We go to one or two games a year. I much prefer knowing that my team's top goal is winning, not player development for the parent club. I get the impression that many fans agree.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 19, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5891875)
Seems like the natural step if MLB thinks it's going to have to pay the minor leaguers more at some point soon.
   28. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 19, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5891915)
So, how do you feel about rooting for an indy team, wwhip? I’d naively think that winning means a little bit more but only a little and that off-field stuff gets even more important.
   29. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 19, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5891929)
Stray thoughts as I wait in line:
1. I don’t like this. I want my Byzantine, enormous systems.
2. Some of this is overdue. I don’t see much point in continuing leagues like the appy, even though I’ll watch its games from time to time. There are better venues for this kind of thing.
3. I think the dream league is an okay idea, actually.
4. I feel bad for guys like 26 year old AA catchers - solid players, marginal at best prospects. That kind of player is the big loser here, no? (Among players)
4a. If so, minor league quality could actually fall.
5. Should this be coupled with reducing the requirement for minor league free agency by a year?
6. I don’t know how the Pecos league has lasted this long.
   30. greenback slays lewks Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:05 PM (#5891971)
4. I feel bad for guys like 26 year old AA catchers - solid players, marginal at best prospects. That kind of player is the big loser here, no? (Among players)

I think the process of weeding out guys who don't have full season A-ball talent changes substantially, but the effects above A-ball are minor. My impression is that presently there is just huge attrition in the short season leagues. It would be nice to see that verified with real data, but when I would go to Appy League games, I would check on the players' status a year or two later, and find so many guys that never made it to full season ball. I also remember going to a doubleheader in Kingsport where the PA guy twice announced relievers' entry into the game with "a non-roster player is now pitching." Meh, anecdotes, but those are the guys who now don't even get a chance. And I don't think it's particularly hard to identify those guys either, as my memory of watching Appy League and Southern League games on back-to-back nights was that most of the Appy League guys would have no business in AA.

Apparently there haven't been any changes in the Appy League franchises since 2008, and the last new park was built on a college campus in 2004 (Greeneville). Aside from Greeneville, the newest park is in Kingsport, and it was built in 1995. I guess that means nobody wanted to build a new park, knowing this was coming.
   31. Jack Sommers Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5891974)
The short season leagues are a pretty big apparatus and expense to support the 2 or 3 players per roster that ever play in the major leagues. So I get it. Still, reading that entire article you can help but feel like it's Douchiness as usual on the part of MLB.
   32. McCoy Posted: October 19, 2019 at 07:45 PM (#5891997)
Keep talking about raising wages for minor league players and this is what happens.
   33. Greg Franklin Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:28 AM (#5892266)
Besides the wage issue (it would be good PR for MLB to raise everyone's salary, so long as they employ fewer everyones), also take into account the MiLB piece Sawchick wrote for 538. Analytically advanced teams like the Astros don't see the need for a farm system to do player development when video, Statcast, and winter programs are considered an adequate substitute for playing live games in Clinton, Iowa against total non-prospects. Essentially they would prefer fewer affiliates and redirect monetary savings toward intensive development of their legitimate prospects or other teams' busts.

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