Restructuring MiLB

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This topic contains 35 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Avatar 14NyquisT 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #112080
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    #112082
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    For those who want the Sparks Notes:

    The new Player Development Agreement between MLB and MiLB would affect everything from the MLB Draft to scouting to how many players a MLB team can have under contract in MiLB.

    The new proposal would limit the Cardinals, for instance, to 150 MiLB players across 5 teams/levels. complex leagues would be eliminated from future MiLB. The MLB draft would move to August, meaning that there would no longer be short season leagues. The draft would reduce the number of rounds from 40 to 20-25 rounds. The new proposal would also essentially eliminate 42 MiLB teams, reducing the amount from its 162 to 140. The PCL would reduce from 16 teams to 10 and the International League would increase from 14 to 16, which would mean Memphis would switching leagues. To help teams that would be losing its MLB affiliations the proposal would call on those to cities to host additional summer wood bat leagues or to form an additional indy league called the Dream League where undrafted players would go to play.

    #112083
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    A follow up article on how the above changes would effect college baseball: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-moving-the-draft-to-august-would-impact-college-baseball/

    I’m not sure if many readers on this forum are aware but the June draft wasn’t really solidified until 1986 when MLB merged 4 separate drafts into one. From 1966 to 1985 there were 4 separate drafts: June draft, June secondary (for players who didn’t sign in the January draft), the January draft (players who graduated early), and January secondary draft (for players who didn’t sign in the previous June draft). For 1965 and 1966 there was an additional draft in August for American Legion players.

    #112088
    Brian Walton
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    “You want us to give minor leaguers more pay? OK, but we aren’t paying extra for it!” – MLB

    State College and Johnson City could be eliminated in this scenario. Not coincidentally perhaps, they are the most geographically distant affiliates.

    These negotiations should be very interesting to follow. What I don’t know is how much (or little?) leverage Minor League Baseball has. I fear not that much.

    If this comes to pass, I am pretty sure the lawyers will prosper most once the lawsuits start flying. As usual, fans lose. So will the many minor league players whose jobs will be lost.

    #112090
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    mudville
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    I’d be willing to bet that the MLBPA is behind this more so than MLB, which actually means the Owners. The MLBPA waves their so-called ‘savings’ in front of the Owners noses in order to seduce them into accepting an agreement that limits access to the major leagues for non-union draftees and non-union potential major league prospects. This gives added job security to players that are already in the Majors by reducing competition for major league jobs. It also reduces the quality of play at all levels including at the major league level. This proposal shouldn’t even be on the table. But the owners having previously demonstrated monumental ineptitude and a shocking lack of vision will surely accept some version of this proposal. After all, aren’t they the ones who accepted the guaranteed contract for themselves and for the MLB fan base?

    #112093
    Brian Walton
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    I doubt the Players Association cares. Even if MLB gets the minor league changes through, they won’t give the PA any credit since they are not a responsible party.

    #112114
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    #112129
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    Great summary, Brian. I have a fear that this proposal of contrasting MiLB teams for 2021 would only be the first round of cuts with more cuts down the road, especially with MLB wanting to go from 7-year agreements to a 5-year agreement.

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    That’s supposed to contracting and not contrasting.

    #112136
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    What would be the end game for MLB in the “contract teams” scenario? We know that some teams have gone to fewer farm teams in order to focus better on what’s left, but I don’t see how getting rid of the rookie leagues helps anyone, including MLB. I guess they’d have all the draftees go to instructional camp for a year if they’re not ready for full season ball right away?

    #112142
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    I guess they’d have all the draftees go to instructional camp for a year if they’re not ready for full season ball right away?

    That’s the thought. The draft would take place in July after the college world series ends (not in August like originally reported) and all draft picks would report to instructional camp for that season.

    The Washington Post published a follow up story today about MiLB owners not liking the proposal.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/10/19/milb-owners-balk-mlbs-request-improved-facilities-lower-levels/

    #112146
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    The PCL would reduce from 16 teams to 10 and the International League would increase from 14 to 16, which would mean Memphis would switching leagues.

    They are going to go from 30 to 26 AAA teams? Which teams are going to lose their AAA teams? I think that would put those teams at a competitive disadvantage.

    This seems to be a negotiating stance by MLB to lower costs.

    #112147
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    Doesn’t it seem like a lot to do in a year and a half? What about lease issues? Brian mentioned Johnson City was in the 4th year of a 10 year deal. Unless they can be bought out? Also potential lawsuits.

    #112151
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    They are going to go from 30 to 26 AAA teams? Which teams are going to lose their AAA teams? I think that would put those teams at a competitive disadvantage.

    This seems to be a negotiating stance by MLB to lower costs.

    Oops. That was a typo on my part. The PCL would go from 16 to 10 and the International League would go from 14 to 20 to keep teams in a geographic region.

    #112165
    Brian Walton
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    #112166
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    BA is backing off some of the specifics in their initial report. This was added today to the top of their article. (Of course, we should remember that all of this could change.)

    “Editor’s Note: This story initially reported that the proposal would move the MLB draft back to August. Further reporting has found that while the draft in the proposal would move to after the College World Series, it would not be moved as late as August. We regret the error. Also, the number of roster spots for minor leagues would be limited to between 150 and 200 players. The story initially said teams would be limited to 150 players.”

    #112175
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    I don’t think it’s about saving money, and I especially don’t think it’s about reducing costs to prepare themselves for pay increases for minor league players. I don’t know the real numbers. But at a glance it doesn’t seem like dropping two Rookie League teams is going to amount nearly enough savings to pay for higher salaries at other minor league levels. I think this whole thing is about reducing competition to make it easier on those who don’t like having to compete so rigorously. With less talent coming through an organization’s system, the players at the top of the food chain (i.e. MLB players) have less of a threat coming up behind them, and teams/ownership that don’t have a strong minor system will have that ‘more level playing field’ by forcing all organizations to live within the same parameters.

    #112238
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    I know I will be in the minority here but I have had the opinion for quite some time that having 9 affiliates doesn’t make much sense therefore I don’t have a problem with the contraction. If the goal is to subsidize minor league baseball then fine but if the goal is to truly develop players for the major leagues then you don’t need 9 teams because a majority of the players won’t be good enough anyway.

    #112247
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    I wonder if team owned affiliates such as Memphis will get priority in staying where they are league wise (or moving if they so choose).

    #112248
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    I think MLB is underestimating how much having a large, dispersed number of affiliates helps in marketing their brand.

    #112258
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    gscott, the way I look at 9 affiliates is that gives more players the opportunity to develop. If they cut back, maybe players like Jose Martinez, Ravelo, Brebbia don’t get the chance to make the majors. Maybe players like Delvin Perez get released before they have an opportunity to develop. The greater the number of players they get to look at, the greater the chance of finding a diamond in the rough. Also, the chance a prospect gets enough time to reach his potential. Tommy Pham would probably have never made the majors with much smaller numbers.

    #112265
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    gscott, the way I look at 9 affiliates is that gives more players the opportunity to develop. If they cut back, maybe players like Jose Martinez, Ravelo, Brebbia don’t get the chance to make the majors. Maybe players like Delvin Perez get released before they have an opportunity to develop. The greater the number of players they get to look at, the greater the chance of finding a diamond in the rough. Also, the chance a prospect gets enough time to reach his potential. Tommy Pham would probably have never made the majors with much smaller numbers.

    Great point, forsch. A lot of people don’t know it but David Peralta of the D’backs was once a Cardinals prospect and was released after just 2 seasons in the DSL. He started out as a pitcher and after being released became an outfielder. It took him 10 years to develop into an MLB caliber player but I think must of us would be happy to have him as a Cardinal.

    #112266
    Brian Walton
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    Another thought. As you (hopefully) read, the proposal is to drop 42 teams. With 30 MLB organizations, that suggests 12 systems will lose two teams. I believe that 12 include the Cardinals.

    Why?

    Because St. Louis decided to keep their investment in one more farm team when some other organizations made cuts or did not invest as much.

    Why?

    Because they felt having more players in the development pipeline gave them an advantage.

    #112342
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    gscott, the way I look at 9 affiliates is that gives more players the opportunity to develop. If they cut back, maybe players like Jose Martinez, Ravelo, Brebbia don’t get the chance to make the majors. Maybe players like Delvin Perez get released before they have an opportunity to develop. The greater the number of players they get to look at, the greater the chance of finding a diamond in the rough. Also, the chance a prospect gets enough time to reach his potential. Tommy Pham would probably have never made the majors with much smaller numbers.

    In theory I suppose that is true but it is difficult to prove. But why stop at 9 affiliates? Why not have 15 or 25 like back in the day with Branch Rickey? If we had 25 then surely no player would fall through the cracks. I just think quality over quantity makes more sense.

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