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Minor Leagues Newsbeat

Thursday, June 25, 2020

MLB’s Proposed 120 MiLB Teams For 2021 May Include Some Surprises

Sources confirmed that multiple independent league teams in addition to St. Paul and Sugar Land (which were mentioned in MLB’s initial proposal) have been approached by MLB teams as possible affiliates for 2021 and beyond, with the Atlantic League’s Somerset being the team most likely to be brought into affiliated ball.

“We are very proud of our over two decades as a founding member of the Atlantic League. The Somerset Patriots strive for excellence in everything that we do,” Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer said in a statement to Baseball America. “Our staff, partners, fans and community as a whole have enhanced our reputation that has been recognized throughout professional baseball. To hear our name even mentioned in any of these MLB discussions is certainly an honor.”

If multiple independent teams join affiliated ball, then the list of teams losing their affiliation could be even larger than the original estimate of 42.

In addition to all the other changes that could be coming, the numbers of leagues and divisions might also look markedly different.

There have been discussions of Triple-A splitting into three leagues, like it was before the American Association was absorbed into the International League and Pacific Coast League for the 1998 season. If Triple-A remained divided into two leagues, it is likely that the leagues would play some interleague series to reduce the length of travel.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

U.S. minor league baseball teams sue insurers for pandemic business losses

Fifteen U.S. minor league baseball teams on Tuesday sued several insurers, including a Tokio Marine Holdings Inc unit, for not paying out claims for business interruption losses after the cancellation of “much or all” of the league’s season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit.

The cancellation is a “catastrophic loss” for the teams, which include the Chattanooga Lookouts in Tennessee, the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Indiana and the Amarillo Sod Poodles in Texas, the teams said in a lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court.

They dispute insurers’ claims that their losses are not covered by their policies.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 03:04 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Royals won’t lay off or furlough baseball operations employees despite MLB uncertainty

With unemployment nationwide reaching historic levels and the professional sports landscape at a relative standstill, Kansas City Royals ownership and management have taken steps to avoid layoffs and furloughs amid Major League Baseball’s uncertain future.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed an ESPN report Friday afternoon that the club has opted to institute tiered pay cuts at the upper levels of executive pay, including Moore’s salary, to avoid cutting employees.

Zach Posted: June 02, 2020 at 03:07 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: furloughs, general, minor leagues, pay cuts, royals

Thursday, May 28, 2020

MLB teams release hundreds of minor league players, per report

With the sport paused indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB owners are searching for any possible way to keep their profit margins relatively stable and avoid taking losses this season. We’ve already heard plenty of news about organizations furloughing and laying off front office employees, and now some organizations are apparently resorting to sacrificing the future of the sport in order to cut marginal costs in the present.

As ESPN’s Jeff Passan and plenty of others reported Thursday, major league organizations are making mass minor league cuts, with more than 1,000 players in jeopardy of losing their jobs by the end of the cycle.\

Per The Score’s Robert Murray, the Mariners, Brewers, Reds, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Rockies, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Rays will be among the teams to part ways with minor leaguers. The Mariners’ cuts appear to be the most alarming, as more than 50 players will be let go.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:31 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, May 08, 2020

Sources: MLB shortens 2020 draft from 40 rounds to 5

Major League Baseball will cut its 2020 draft to five rounds, as owners looking to save costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic pushed for fewer rounds over the objection of front-office officials, sources told ESPN.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 08, 2020 at 07:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, minor leagues

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A lost season? Minor league teams, players face bleak future

CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Nutter is surrounded by questions everywhere he goes these days. So the longtime president of the Fort Wayne TinCaps is planning for each scenario he can imagine, one at a time.

What does minor league baseball look like in the COVID-19 age? What happens if his Class A team plays only half a season?

And the big one: What if there are no games at all?

While Major League Baseball tries to figure out a way to play this summer, the prospects for anything resembling a normal minor league season are increasingly bleak.

An article to read in parallel with another I uploaded today- I suspect this will serve as useful background that will explain elements of the other article.

QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, minor leagues

Sources: MiLB Ready To Agree To Significant Reduction In Teams

An update on a long-standing topic:

When Major League Baseball proposed to Minor League Baseball last year its plan to cut the minor leagues from 160 teams to 120 affiliated teams in negotiations for a new Professional Baseball Agreement, such a proposal was greeted by many MiLB teams as unthinkable.

The world has changed dramatically over the past six months, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has halted sports. When MLB and MiLB negotiators convene on a teleconference on Wednesday, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations say MiLB will indicate that it agrees to 120 affiliated teams in a new PBA.

Such a concession by MiLB could be a clear step toward a deal. MiLB has now agreed to find ways to come to agreement on almost all of MLB’s public demands. Now the open question is whether MLB will be willing to accept the concession as a foundation for a potential deal.

According to a source with insight into the thinking of both parties, MLB and MiLB have already found common ground on a number of the major outstanding issues that MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem laid out publicly in a letter to members of Congress last November.


QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues

Friday, April 17, 2020

A 2020 Minor League Baseball Season Grows More And More Unlikely

If this were a normal year, the MiLB season would be one week old. But as we all know, there is nothing normal about 2020. And it’s becoming all too easy to imagine the complete 2020 season being cancelled.

While most everyone involved in MiLB is cautiously optimistic publicly, the reality is it is going to be quite difficult for any MiLB team to play at all this year. In off-the-record discussions with people all around the game, there is a near-universal acknowledgement that there are a massive amount of hurdles that have to be overcome to make any MiLB season happen.

Public pronouncements in recent days make the resumption of the season difficult. Multiple governors have said they find it unlikely that mass events, including sporting events, will be allowed in the next several months. In an interview with Snapchat this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that sports will only return this summer in very controlled circumstances with no fans.

That’s only the first hurdle. Many MiLB leagues stretch across numerous states. Getting approval from each state, county and city to resume adds several additional logistical hurdles—the South Atlantic League (a league that plays in 14 cities in seven states) or Pacific Coast League (which has 16 teams in 11 states) can’t easily resume if only half of its teams are in areas where mass meetings are allowed.

A consideration of the effects of current conditions on minor league baseball- disappointing for those of us who’d be attending a dozen or so games under normal conditions, but understandable.


QLE Posted: April 17, 2020 at 01:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, minor leagues

Friday, March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Creates ‘Disaster Situation’ For Some MiLB Teams

This past offseason was considered to be the toughest most Minor League Baseball teams had ever faced. Roughly a quarter of all MiLB teams were on the chopping block in an MLB proposal that headlined negotiations between MLB and MiLB on a new Professional Baseball Agreement for 2021 and beyond.

Those issues, while still significant, have faded into the background. They have quickly been replaced at the forefront by the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has quickly waylaid MiLB’s (and all of sports) 2020 season plans.

The PBA negotiations have been paused by both sides as they work to figure out how to adjust, adapt and answer the many questions raised by the suspension of the season.

As of mid-March, the long-term effects health-wise of COVID-19 in the U.S. are not yet apparent. MiLB owners and operators all speak of their concerns for the actual health of their communities. But while that is seen as a future unknown, the financial ramifications are already becoming quite clear.


QLE Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, coronavirus, minor leagues

Friday, March 13, 2020

Minor League Baseball Joins MLB in Indefinite Suspension Amid Coronavirus

In the wake of Major League Baseball’s announcement the start of the 2020 regular season will be delayed at least two weeks, Minor League Baseball is following suit by suspending its season for the time being amid concerns about the coronavirus. 

Per an official statement from MiLB, additional information about the start of the season will be made available at a later date: 


In addition to MLB delaying the start of the regular season, all spring training games have been canceled as of 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. Qualifying games for the 2020 World Baseball Classic in Arizona also have been indefinitely postponed.


QLE Posted: March 13, 2020 at 12:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, minor leagues

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

House asks comptroller general to study minor leagues

Tonight, on The Edge Of Contraction:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives by voice vote approved legislation Tuesday to have the comptroller general of the U.S. study baseball’s minor leagues, which are trying to fend off a contraction proposal from major league clubs.

The bill calls on the comptroller general to “evaluate the social, economic, and historic contributions that minor league baseball has made to American life and culture.”

Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which governs the minors, are negotiating a Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the deal that expires after this season. MLB’s proposal would drop the big league affiliation of 42 minor league teams and eliminate short-season leagues not held at major league training complexes.

“Major League Baseball would gladly participate in a serious Government Accountability Office analysis of the many problems in minor league baseball that are impeding the development of players,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement that cited “the widespread inadequacy of facilities, playing conditions, nutrition programs and burdensome travel demands. ”

Well, this is quite a turn, isn’t it?


QLE Posted: March 11, 2020 at 12:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comptroller general, congress, contraction, minor leagues

Thursday, March 05, 2020

What’s Next in Fight to Protect Minor League Baseball?

On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform are scheduled to consider H.R. 6020. If ultimately adopted, H.R. 6020 would require the Government Accountability Office to issue a “report on the social, economic, and historic contributions that Minor League Baseball has made to American life and culture.” Congresswoman Lori Trahan, who along with Congressman David McKinley lead a bipartisan Congressional effort to protect minor league teams, introduced H.R. 6020 last week.

A report by the GAO would likely become an influential document in negotiations between MLB and MiLB on a new professional agreement. Their current agreement is set to expire in September. MLB demands sizable changes to the economic relationship between the big leagues and the minor leagues. The most controversial of those changes would involve the severing of affiliations between MLB clubs and 42 minor league teams. While this severing wouldn’t force affected teams to fold, their expulsion from MLB-affiliated minor leagues, along with losses of financial support and MLB branding, would jeopardize their survival.

The economics of minor league clubs have a number of components, but player development contracts (PDCs) are a crucial ingredient. PDCs dictate the contractual affiliation between MLB teams and minor league affiliates. In general, PDCs call for MLB teams to pay the salaries of minor league players and staff. Meanwhile, owners of minor league teams typically cover expenditures for field upkeep, equipment, uniforms and other non-personnel operations. MLB officials are dissatisfied with this current arrangement. They have expressed a number of complaints, including that some minor league teams rely on dated facilities and are located far from their MLB parents. A number of targeted MiLB teams reject the relevance of those lines of critique.

Depending on its findings and recommendations, a GAO report could make it more difficult for MLB to justify sweeping changes. The report would be authoritative, objective and credible. This reflects the nature of the GAO, a unique entity in Washington D.C. The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that provides evaluations and analyses for Congress. It is thus different from an executive agency, such as the Justice Department or the State Department, since it doesn’t report to the President. The nonpartisan quality of the GAO is also important. Neither the agency nor its leaders are beholden to the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader or the President. The fact that the GAO’s leader, the Comptroller General, serves a 15-year term illustrates that dynamic: he or she remains in office past the terms of multiple presidents and Congressional leaders.

A consideration of the latest step in the war over minor league contraction.


QLE Posted: March 05, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, contraction, minor leagues

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Worcester approves about $30M more for new ballpark

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The Worcester City Council has approved a revised financing plan to address about $30 million in increased costs for a new baseball stadium being built in the city for the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate.

The plan approved Tuesday addresses an additional $9.4 million in construction costs and about $20 million in increased costs associated with the redevelopment of the neighborhood where the park will be located.

The team, currently based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and known as the Pawtucket Red Sox, will play one more season in Rhode Island before relocating to Worcester in 2021.

Given what MLB has been threatening lately, I’m not sure that investing more in minor league stadiums makes sense at the current time….

QLE Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, pawtucket red sox, stadiums, worcester

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Delegates swing for fences with resolution to keep minor league baseball

Today in minor-league contraction news:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A resolution to support the continuation of minor league baseball in West Virginia circled the bases in the House of Delegates.

As representatives of the West Virginia Power baseball organization observed from the balcony, the resolution passed the House of Delegates, 98-0 with two absences.

“As an avid baseball fan and former Little League all-star, I can’t imagine a Mountain State without baseball,” said Delegate Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, who elicited laughter when he mentioned his youthful accomplishments.

“That is our pipeline to the major leagues.”



QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues, west virginia

Saturday, February 15, 2020

MLB raises salaries for minor leaguers in 2021

Major League Baseball is raising the minimum salary for minor league players in 2021, according to a memo sent Friday from the commissioner’s office to all 30 teams and obtained by The Associated Press.

Two years after successfully lobbying Congress to exempt minor leaguers from federal minimum wage laws, MLB opted to give those players a wage increase between 38% and 72%. The bump was discussed at last week’s owners meetings and confirmed in the memo from Morgan Sword, executive vice president of baseball economics and operations.

Players at rookie and short-season levels will see their minimum weekly pay raised from $290 to $400, and players at Class A will go from $290 to $500. Double-A will jump from $350 to $600, and Triple-A from $502 to $700.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 15, 2020 at 07:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

MLB Announces Minor-League Player Minimum Salaries Will Be Raised in 2021

Major League Baseball is increasing the minimum salary for players in the minor leagues starting with the 2021 season. 

Per Jake Seiner and Ben Walker of the Associated Press, minor leaguers will receive a salary increase between 38 and 72 percent depending on the level.

Rookie and short-season salaries will increase from $290 to $400 per week; players in A ball will receive an increased weekly salary from $290 to $500. In Double-A, players will earn $600 per week, up from $350, and Triple-A players will go from earning $502 per week to $700.

Minor league pay has been the subject of intense criticism for years, particularly since 2018 when MLB lobbied Congress to exempt players in the minors from receiving salaries commensurate with federal minimum wage.

So, how do we assess this sudden turn of events?


QLE Posted: February 15, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, minor leagues, salaries

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Untangling a Minor League Mess, Part II

And now, the second part of this story:

Earlier this week, we discussed the principle bone of contention between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball regarding MLB’s proposed contraction plan. MLB wishes to, among other things, transfer more control and money away from minor league baseball and eliminate short-season baseball. While they have tried to make their case that the measure is not a cost-saving one, that case isn’t particularly persuasive, as discussed in Part I of this series.

But while contraction is a cost-saving measure, that doesn’t mean major league teams don’t have a more efficient way of producing good major league players than in the current system, and that argument deserves to be assessed on its own merits. David Laurila recently talked to some MLB executives who explained some of their thoughts on the potential changes, and in a piece at FiveThirtyEight, Travis Sawchik laid out the potential benefits of fewer minor league teams while including keeping the level of competition higher, preventing teams from preying on players with little chance of reaching the majors and putting players closer to spring training sites where the quality of facilities is better and the coaching is more concentrated. (It’s worth noting that MLB hasn’t actually done a very good job of making that argument.)


QLE Posted: February 13, 2020 at 01:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Untangling a Minor League Mess, Part I

In 2011, Major League and Minor League Baseball agreed to extend their current Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) through the 2020 season. That agreement, which extended a prior agreement that wasn’t set to expire until 2014, maintained the status quo between the majors and the minors that most fans are familiar with today. There would continue to be over 160 affiliated minor league teams, with each team’s major league parent organization providing the players and the minor league clubs providing the facilities, travel, and fans. That agreement also included an increase in the ticket tax minor league teams pay to major league teams based on ticket revenue. That PBA is set to expire at the end of this season, and Major League Baseball wants to make drastic changes to the next agreement, changes that would dramatically reshape the minor leagues as we know them now.

The negotiations, which have thus far been quite ugly, first became public back in October when Baseball America revealed some details of MLB’s proposal (Baseball America, and JJ Cooper in particular, has done a great job covering the dispute); a later New York Times report confirmed the 42 teams set for contraction. Since then, the two sides have traded public missives, accusing each other of engaging in behavior that is not in the best interest of baseball.

Cumulatively, the changes proposed by MLB represent a move to gain power and consolidate control over the minor leagues. The MLB plan would move the amateur draft later in the year and decrease its number of rounds, get rid of short-season baseball, remove one-fifth of the independently owned full-season teams, take control of the Florida State League, and restructure existing leagues and reclassify some teams. The cumulative effect of these changes would be to diminish the power of MiLB relative to MLB and to potentially lower affiliate value for independently owned minor league franchises. With such sweeping and fundamental changes on the table, there’s a lot to sort through. But to get to the core of what’s at stake, it’s helpful to unpack one of the most significant changes under consideration: getting rid of short-season baseball.

To understand where Minor League and Major League Baseball come down on short-season ball, I will pose a few introductory questions and answer them based on my own understanding of the leagues’ respective positions before diving into the meat of the argument.

Another nice mess, courtesy of Rob “Stan” Manfred.


QLE Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sunday Notes: MLB Executives Weigh in on the Implications of MiLB Contraction

Almost inexplicably, the proposed contraction of 42 minor league teams has largely become second-page news. Baseball’s biggest story just a few short months ago, a potentially cataclysmic alteration of the game’s landscape has found itself overshadowed by cheating scandals, managerial mayhem, and the controversial trade of a superstar by a deep-pocketed team. In arguably one of the most-tumultuous off-seasons ever, a hugely-important issue lies almost dormant within the news cycle.

Here at FanGraphs, we’re doing our best not to let that happen. My colleague Craig Edwards is taking an in-depth look at the situation — expect those articles in the coming days — and what you’re seeing here serves as a lead-in to his efforts. My own opinions aren’t included. What follows are the thoughts of a handful of high-ranking MLB executives, the bulk of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In the opinion of one GM, lawsuits are likely, if not inevitable. Speaking on the record would thus be an invitation to trouble. Another pointed out that the ongoing discussions are at the league level, and independent of individual teams. For that reason, offering a public opinion wouldn’t be in his best interest.

With no exception, each executive expressed that his organization’s bottom line is to optimize player development, regardless of the structure of the minor leagues. An American League GM put it this way:

“I don’t think [contraction] would change our operations that much in terms of what we’re focused on internally. We want to put the best resources in front of our players, and whether we have 10 minor league teams, five minor league teams, or somewhere in between, we’re going to do the same thing.”

Come for the serious consideration of a major topic- stay for the Greg Maddux stories and notes on player-pitcher records.

Friday, February 07, 2020

What If Minor League Baseball Had Bowls?

This summer, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, home of the Daytona Tortugas, will host the Florida State League All-Star Game. The Jack, as it’s known, got its name because Daytona Beach was the first Florida city to allow Robinson to play in a 1946 spring training game. Over fifty years after that game, the Jack was named to the National Registry of Historic Places. 

The All-Star Game will showcase some of the best and youngest players in the minor leagues, celebrating baseball’s future on a stage remembering its past. Except, while the players may continue onward and upward to bigger stages, Major League Baseball wants to leave The Jack behind. You see, the Tortugas are on the chopping block, one of 42 teams MLB has proposed cutting after the 2020 season in order to upgrade facilities that have “inadequate standards.”

As Dave Heller, president and CEO of Main Street Baseball — which operates four teams, three on the list — told SB Nation, MLB’s justification of “inadequate standards” requires some suspension of disbelief.

“We are trusting that they’re telling the truth when they say this is really about facilities standards, and the 25 percent — their figure — of minor league baseball parks that are not in compliance with MiLB facility standards,” Heller said. “All four of my clubs are easily in compliance with that.”

Mind you, there’s a champion of Triple-A baseball overall every year, and I’m not sure who cares about that other than those of us lucky to follow the team that’s won said title.


QLE Posted: February 07, 2020 at 01:35 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, bowls, minor leagues

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Read Minor League Baseball’s Letter to Commissioner Rob Manfred

Insofar as there is a “competitive balance” problem confronting MLB, it is related to the staggering difference in payrolls among MLB teams and not whether teams are permitted to choose to continue to have short season affiliates. Moreover, there are other less damaging ways for MLB to regulate the total number of players each Major League club may have under contract and otherwise create a level playing field. For example, there exists significant divergence in the number of players signed, housed, and trained by MLB teams in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and other locations outside the United States. In addition, MLB permits 10 Major League clubs the significant competitive advantage of playing a full season Minor League schedule at their Florida Spring Training complexes with the opportunity for those clubs to conduct MLB Player Rehab assignments on Minor League teams playing at those facilities.

With specific regard to cost savings, we understand that MLB has projected that the elimination of short season baseball would save each of the 30 MLB teams – all of which are valued at more than one billion dollars – approximately $300,000 to $400,000 in payroll costs per year, which, in the aggregate, translates to less than 1/10th of 1 percent of MLB’s revenues. These reduced employment related “savings” also represent significantly less than the cost to a Major League team of a minimum cost contract for a single Major League player and are also much less than the financial commitments undertaken by many of the potentially impacted communities to attract and provide facilities for Major League-affiliated teams. Surely the nominal prospective cost savings to MLB clubs is far outweighed by the devastating and far reaching impact that contraction of short season MiLB teams would have on their communities across the United States.

winnipegwhip Posted: January 30, 2020 at 07:19 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: extortion, luhnow plan, manfred, minor leagues

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

House resolution proposed against minor league contraction

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four members of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution Tuesday urging Major League Baseball not to follow through with its proposal to eliminate 42 current minor league teams.

MLB made the proposal last year to the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of the minors, during negotiations for a Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the deal that expires after the 2020 season.

MLB wants to cut short-season leagues and reduce the number of farm teams each big league club affiliates with. It has proposed replacing the eliminated minor league teams with a not yet defined Dream League, somewhat similar to collegiate summer leagues.

The resolution was introduced by Reps. Lori Trahan, D-Mass.; David McKinley, R-W. Va.; Max Rose, D-N.Y.; and Mike Simpson, R- Idaho.

For those curious, the full text is here:


QLE Posted: January 29, 2020 at 12:28 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, contraction, minor leagues

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mayors launch task force to oppose minor league contraction

This week in contraction news:

Dozens of mayors from across the United States have formed a task force opposing a proposal by Major League Baseball to eliminate 42 affiliated minor league franchises for the 2021 season.

The coalition launched Tuesday with three leaders and was up to 30 members by Wednesday afternoon, ranging from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Hillsboro, Oregon.

“All of us understand this plan is a major league error,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.

MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues are negotiating a minor league agreement to replace the contract expiring after the 2020 season. MLB has proposed cutting more than a quarter of its 160 affiliates, citing concerns over the quality of facilities, travel and player salaries.


QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Save the Spinners: How One Town Attempts to Stave Off MLB’s Contractual Plan for the Minors

LOWELL, Mass. — Major League Baseball’s controversial plan to reorganize Minor League Baseball faces headwinds as local communities who stand to lose their teams—and accompanying jobs, business and investment—unify efforts to persuade or, if necessary, try to stop MLB.

One such community is Lowell, Massachusetts, a city of about 112,000 people and home of the Lowell Spinners. The Spinners are the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. They are one of 42 teams rumored to face losing a major league affiliation as part of a tentative MLB initiative to contract the minor leagues.

On Tuesday, U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-Massachusetts and Lowell native) chaired a community meeting at the Spinners’ LeLacheur Park. Trahan, along with U.S. Congressman David McKinley (R-West Virginia), is leading a bipartisan effort in Congress to ensure that MLB appreciates the gravity of legal risks and political fallout it could face.

“Major League Baseball,” Trahan stressed to a packed clubhouse room of community and business leaders, “received a sweetheart deal in 2018 by getting an exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Trahan’s remark about the FLSA exemption is sure to attract notice in the office of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and in offices of attorneys who are representing minor league players.

An update on the current state of Minor League Baseball contraction.


QLE Posted: January 08, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Minor-league players win another ruling in federal minimum-wage lawsuit

A group of minor league players suing Major League Baseball over alleged illegally low wages secured an important victory in court Friday.

MLB had sought to prevent a 2014 lawsuit brought by minor league baseball players seeking minimum wage and overtime pay from proceeding as a class action, but the Ninth Circuit court in San Francisco has denied the league’s request.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s the second major ruling to go in favor of the players. On Aug. 16, 2019, a three-judge panel ruled that the 2014 lawsuit originally brought by forty-five minor league baseball players against MLB, then MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, and a number of MLB franchises, could proceed as a class action.

The August ruling also allowed minor league players in California, Arizona and Florida to participate, which is significant considering that all 30 teams hold spring training in either Arizona or Florida. The lawsuit, which alleges that baseball’s owners have not complied with labor laws, could expand to include thousands of players who participated in spring training from 2014 to 2019.

My apologies for the nature of the link- the source is behind a pay-wall for me.

Any assessment of this from the site lawyers?



QLE Posted: January 04, 2020 at 01:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lawsuits, minor leagues, wages

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