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MiLB may see some drastic changes by 2021

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I do wonder how hard the MLBPA goes to bat for minor leaguers. It has obviously done a great job for MLB players in comparison to other sports, but the minor leaguers get shafted. 

Reducing the draft to 20-25 rounds. Very interesting. 

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2 hours ago, ron883 said:

I do wonder how hard the MLBPA goes to bat for minor leaguers. It has obviously done a great job for MLB players in comparison to other sports, but the minor leaguers get shafted. 

Reducing the draft to 20-25 rounds. Very interesting. 

I feel like the answer is "none" considering they're paid below minimum wage.

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3 hours ago, ron883 said:

I do wonder how hard the MLBPA goes to bat for minor leaguers. It has obviously done a great job for MLB players in comparison to other sports, but the minor leaguers get shafted. 

Reducing the draft to 20-25 rounds. Very interesting. 

MLBPA doesn't represent them so they cant. They can try to say stuff but nothing will get done hence service time and low salaries issues among other things

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I think this is a bad idea for the game, but if they pare this with paying the players that are left real wages I think it's not bad.

I do feel like it goes a long way in forming bonds to baseball in towns that are not near mlb teams. North carolina is just an awesome place to be, like 20 minutes from 10 teams.

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52 minutes ago, bmags said:

I think this is a bad idea for the game, but if they pare this with paying the players that are left real wages I think it's not bad.

I do feel like it goes a long way in forming bonds to baseball in towns that are not near mlb teams. North carolina is just an awesome place to be, like 20 minutes from 10 teams.

Couldn't agree more.  I don't see any way that this is a good thing.  The only reason I can see for this is paying fewer minor leaguers. 

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Meant to say that it won’t be as bad if they pair it with wage hikes.

Keeping interest in baseball, full stop, should be the business MLb is in. 

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I respect that MLB may be right, in baseball terms, to second-guess the size of the minor league system (e.g., assuming Houston was right to downsize) and therefore seeing their paying all the players on superfluous teams to be a waste. It's just hard to know what the motivation is or even if this reported offer is serious vs. just a scare tactic to score more modest concessions from the MiLB teams.

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So I'm not sure how much this counts, but I went to a game in Bristol back when they were a White Sox affiliate, and it really felt like the game was taking place in a little league complex (for all I know it might have been). There were a couple dozen people there, the stadium wasn't all that well taken care of, the ballpark sizes were ludicrous (huge outfield fence that was very deep and filled with ads), it just really wasn't a great experience for an average viewer. In the same area, I got to a lot of Cubs AA games, and the difference in how much you enjoy the game from somewhat nicer facilities is pretty remarkable. I don't know how much more it costs and whether or not low-A ball games just can't be profitable in some areas, but based on those 2, I kinda get having minimum standards for game quality. 

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Does anybody have a feel for how this could affect the relationships between the Sox and Birmingham/Charlotte?

Those are two of the nicest and most well-attended ballparks in MiLB. From the article, it seems like they will deem Birmingham as a AAA facility (and market) in the big picture. If the Barons were shifted to AAA, they most certainly would fight to keep the White Sox affiliation because it is a strong, long-standing relationship. 
 

What will be the status of the current player development contracts at the end of the 2020 season?

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13 hours ago, Jake said:

I respect that MLB may be right, in baseball terms, to second-guess the size of the minor league system (e.g., assuming Houston was right to downsize) and therefore seeing their paying all the players on superfluous teams to be a waste. It's just hard to know what the motivation is or even if this reported offer is serious vs. just a scare tactic to score more modest concessions from the MiLB teams.

It may very well be better to focus on developing the top half of the players in the system as opposed to spreading the attention out to the lower half where rarely if any make it. 

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13 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

So I'm not sure how much this counts, but I went to a game in Bristol back when they were a White Sox affiliate, and it really felt like the game was taking place in a little league complex (for all I know it might have been). There were a couple dozen people there, the stadium wasn't all that well taken care of, the ballpark sizes were ludicrous (huge outfield fence that was very deep and filled with ads), it just really wasn't a great experience for an average viewer. In the same area, I got to a lot of Cubs AA games, and the difference in how much you enjoy the game from somewhat nicer facilities is pretty remarkable. I don't know how much more it costs and whether or not low-A ball games just can't be profitable in some areas, but based on those 2, I kinda get having minimum standards for game quality. 

Responding to the bolded, I live near Grand Rapids, MI and attend White Caps games. The West Michigan White Caps are the Low-A team for the Tigers, and those games are always fun. They have great beer options and food is decent...excellent ammenities and very kid as well as adult friendly. They try to cater to the entire community. Full price tickets are reasonable but you can find a deal if you look hard enough. I'm also pretty sure this past season was like the highest attended in history or something like that.  I know that's small sample size, but the White Caps are big around here, especially for families and group outings.

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1 hour ago, ScooterMcGee said:

Responding to the bolded, I live near Grand Rapids, MI and attend White Caps games. The West Michigan White Caps are the Low-A team for the Tigers, and those games are always fun. They have great beer options and food is decent...excellent ammenities and very kid as well as adult friendly. They try to cater to the entire community. Full price tickets are reasonable but you can find a deal if you look hard enough. I'm also pretty sure this past season was like the highest attended in history or something like that.  I know that's small sample size, but the White Caps are big around here, especially for families and group outings.

I grew up near Gary IN, and they built a beautiful ballpark there in Gary for an unaffiliated team. Granted that was a city that was trying to do something in terms of economic stimulus, but that ballpark is way better than the one I was at in Bristol. So, I do think there are facilities out there and cities out there that would support having minor league ball, and that once you get the facilities up to a certain standard that it can be profitable and a fun local actiivity.

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11 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

I grew up near Gary IN, and they built a beautiful ballpark there in Gary for an unaffiliated team. Granted that was a city that was trying to do something in terms of economic stimulus, but that ballpark is way better than the one I was at in Bristol. So, I do think there are facilities out there and cities out there that would support having minor league ball, and that once you get the facilities up to a certain standard that it can be profitable and a fun local actiivity.

This scares me a bit. Feels like one version ends up as MLB blackmail to push struggling towns into debt to build an expensive stadium.

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The part I'm interested in is the re-alignment of the PCL and IL. I live 5 minutes from the Round Rock Express stadium. I'd go and see every single game vs. the Knights if they finally get aligned to the same league. 

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When I talked with Rick Hahn in January, I asked a question about the number of affiliates. The trend had been for most teams to be adding a 7th US team, and the Sox were still at six. When I asked if the Sox were considering a 7th, he said that yes, that was in discussion, but it wasn't coming soon if it came at all.

Now it seems they are thinking more about FEWER teams. That article makes it seem like such an agreement likely eliminates the PIO, for example. Would the Sox then add a 2nd AZL team instead? Or open a new team in the NWL or the like?

 

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Seems like it’s just as much about extracting concessions from the Low A and short season teams in terms of stadium and facility improvements.

As Balta noted, there’s a pretty big discrepancy between the AAA/AA and A operations.   The A teams struggling financially just don’t invest as much in operational aspects like clubhouses, amenities and their playing surface/grounds keeping crew that paying customers might not notice...but visiting MLB officials certainly get loud and consistent feedback on.

 

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