“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization because it is the first time in our history that we have had a summer without minor baseball,” MiLB president Pat O’Conner said in a statement. . “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to start planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment. ”
If you have or are wondering what this means for minor league teams and players, then consider it your chance. Below, we have attempted to answer five main questions regarding the subject.
1. How will prospects receive instructions this year?
For most prospects, the answer is that they will not do it – at least not how they are used to it, and not yet.
Many teams include their best prospects in their pool of 60 players, that way they can be around the club coaches and participate in intrasquad and other scrums. There is even a chance that some of them will be called into service in the league before they have been otherwise.
Obviously, it’s not the same as having a minor league season, but given the circumstances, it’s the best that the teams can do.
2. Will there be educational or fall leagues?
Typically, teams have an after-season teaching league, where younger or inexperienced players come to the facility and work on their games. Likewise, the league tends to lead the Arizona Fall League for players who are more advanced in their development.
Although these two structured events may still occur, much depends on the situation across the country with respect to COVID-19. The Fall League could face a second potential wave of coronavirus infections, which would complicate matters.
3. What about the winter leagues?
Again, this is mostly a waiting situation. Presumably, some players will travel to the Dominican Republic, Australia and other popular winter prom destinations, but a lot can change during a global pandemic.
4. Are the teams still paying their minor leaguers?
Most clubs have agreed to pay their underage leagues their weekly allowance of at least $ 400 until the end of July. There are a few notable exceptions that did not agree to do the same after the end of June.
According to lawyers for minor leaguers, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland, the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees have not yet announced their plans in this regard.
Presumably most, if not all, of these teams will do the right thing.
5. What happens next with minors?
Change. And a lot.
The MLB is set to make its way, which would mean that more than 40 teams would lose their affiliate status. The miners would be realigned, the lower levels being eliminated. Affiliates of teams and leagues would be changed, and so on.
The exact parameters remain to be seen, but it is fair to say that the odds are that the miners will not look like the end of the 2019 season.