It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s finally here—minor league baseball players are now represented by a union.
The minor leagues have existed in some form or fashion since 1901, and while major league players didn’t negotiate their first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) until 1968, minor leaguers have never been afforded that opportunity—until now.
Minor league unionization has been a topic of discussion for a while now, but it really came into focus in 2018, when the Save America’s Pastime Act was passed. Major League Baseball lobbied lawmakers to exclude minor leaguers from minimum-wage and overtime laws. That push was first made in 2016—despite the league neither paying minor league players minimum-wage or offering them overtime—but never passed; however, a much larger version of the bill was written into law in 2018, starting the groundswell among players, already upset with their treatment.
The league further antagonized its employees in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to a delay in the major league season and the total cancellation of the season in the minors. After $400 per week stipends for minor league players started out on a month-to-month basis, with the Oakland A’s going as far as saying those would stop after June of that year, public and internal pressure led to most every organization paying players through the end of what would have been the season.
During that time, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) pledged $1 million to groups such as Advocates for Minor Leaguers and More Than Baseball, who were beginning the fight to improve the livelihoods of players in the minors. Using social media, players and those groups shone a light on some of the treatment, from pictures of sparse post-game meals to tiny pay checks, rallying public support and forcing the hand of their employers.
Higher salaries were implemented in 2021, as well as a leaguewide initiative to provide housing to the players for the 2022 season, but these incremental wins only galvanized the players more, leading to a unionization effort that culminated in September 2022.
Everything coalesced rather quickly, with a drive that lasted a mere 17 days. Roughly 5,500 players are joining the MLBPA, who are serving as the bargaining unit for the group. Despite the ability to stand in their way, Major League Baseball (MLB) voluntarily recognized the group as opposed to getting the National Labor Relations Board involved.
Due to their new relationship with the MLBPA, it was the same names bargaining for minor leaguers that headed the major league efforts during the 2021-22 offseason, such as Executive Director Tony Clark and Deputy Executive Director Bruce Meyer. Joining the association’s representation was Harry Marino, who was integral to the movement leading up to the unionization, serving as Executive Director for Advocates for Minor Leaguers, which was absorbed by the MLBPA in August 2022. MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and ever-present Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort took the lead on the league’s side.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan does an excellent job of laying out the timeline and how exactly this agreement came together, but here are just a few highlights:
- The MLBPA made its opening presentation to MLB on October 27th, the starting point of negotiations that would last five months and consist of more than three dozen bargaining sessions
- The union presented all of their initial proposals throughout December, with the league giving their first written response on January 12th, with another five days later that addressed salaries for the first time
- Nearly year-round compensation—a considerable win for the players and a sign taken as good faith negotiation on the league’s part—was agreed upon in January, as other issues were being worked out, with “steady pace” being kept through February
- A two-page tentative agreement—the first of nearly 30—was finalized on February 16th, with this one in particular covering nutrition
- As players left for Spring Training in late February, their negotiating had to take place over Zoom, and while the league was comfortable starting the season without a deal, that was an outcome everyone wanted to avoid at all costs
- Progress the first few weeks of March was limited, as both sides were dug in on their key issues—pay for the players and the Domestic Reserve List for the league
- A tentative agreement on housing rules that were to go into effect by 2024 at the latest was reached on March 14th
- A week after that, “after heated discussions”, an agreement for transportation was reached
- The next day, agreements on a grievance system for discipline, a domestic violence policy, and a joint drug-and-treatment program were settled
- The day after that, a no-strike, no-lockout provision was enacted, followed by name, image, and likeness for the union, as well as benefits like the right to second opinions on medical diagnoses, free medical, dental, and vision and a $2.5 million distribution from the league to 401(k)s a year
- On March 29th, the league made its “best and final offer”, in which the final discussions on pay were settled
“With the offseason payment, now we can focus on baseball,” said Angel Basabe, a Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league farmhand who played a big part in the negotiations, helping represent players from Latin America. “I know [the rank and file] are grateful. We’re making changes. This is history.”
While there are always improvements to be made, the deal provides some stability for current and future minor leaguers, as it covers the next five seasons, expiring on December 1, 2027. Also, as pointed out, the sides agreed that there won’t be any work stoppages during that time, as a strike or lockout would be prohibited under the deal.
However, not all players are included in the bargaining group. Only domestic players are covered by the new agreement, with international players not counting towards the Domestic Reserve List not included in the deal.
In the end, over 99% of the players who voted approved the deal, and it was approved unanimously by MLB owners on April 3rd.
Breaking Down the Deal
Despite little leverage—as they had no intention of striking—and an agreement that was built from scratch, the players seem to have came away with a very strong deal on their first go around.
“Talking with the people that have been close to the situation, I think this was a really solid deal for minor league players,” said Jonathan Perrin on the Baseball America podcast “From Phenom To The Farm”. Perrin is a former minor league player who currently advises players as a certified financial planner.
As JJ Cooper of Baseball America points out, the strides that minor leaguers have made just in the last few years have been tremendous, especially compared to players in their situation throughout history:
After decades of stagnation, the pace of improvement in minor league working conditions in the past few years has been dramatic. A minor league player who signed in 2000 and retired in 2018 would have noticed very little difference in overall working conditions in his career. The per diem for road trips increased slightly, but minimum salaries remained largely unchanged. Minor league players paid for their own food, largely through mandatory clubhouse dues. Housing was the responsibility of the players, even though MLB teams could move a player from city to city with little advance notice.
Comparatively, a minor league player who signed in 2019 has seen more change in the past four years than what occurred in the previous 50 years.
These wins can be broken down into several different categories—as Evan Drellich of The Athletic did in his educational breakdown of the new agreement—with the biggest being the player’s main goal from the start.
As Passan put it, a raise in their salaries was the player’s “clear No. 1 objective”, and they certainly succeeded.
While it’s true that salary increases were announced in 2020 and instituted in 2021—ranging from 38% to 72% increases per week—the players did even better in these negotiations. On a weekly basis, the percent increases range from 67% in Double-A to 80% in High-A. In total, on a yearly basis, here is how the increases play out:
Complex Leagues: $4,800 to $19,800
Low-A: $11,000 to $26,200
High-A: $11,000 to 27,300
Double-A: $13,800 to $30,250
Triple-A: $17,500 to $35,800
All of these figures are based on minimum salaries, which will stay the same in 2024, but minor yearly increases were agreed upon for 2025, 2026, and 2027.
Just as big a win—if not bigger—was the implementation of nearly year-round pay—something major leaguers aren’t even afforded.
Of course, this comes with a more defined schedule of which these payments are made.
The offseason will now be broken up into different “training periods”—the first, or fall training period—starts after the last day of the season and runs through the Friday before Thanksgiving. A “dead period” lasts from that following Saturday through January 1st, during which a player cannot be asked to work and is the only period in which the players will not receive any salary. Then a winter training period will stretch from January 2nd until the day before the Spring Training report date, which can be set at any time after major league pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report.
During these periods, players are paid at different rates based on whether they are training at home versus a team facility—with the minimums constituting at-home pay, meaning players can make more if they report to team facilities.
Players will be paid $250 per week while training at home and $625 per week while at the team facility—there was no pay for such training before. If at home, players cannot be directed to work more than 10 hours per week. In order to receive the higher pay, a player must be invited to the facility. If they simply choose to work out there despite not being invited, they will make the lower, at home rate.
For Spring Training, players will make $625 per week while assigned to minor league camp. Also, the players were able to negotiate for backpay for this past spring. Players who were at a team facility for four or more weeks will receive $2,500, while any player with less than four weeks will receive $625 per week.
Aside from now simply paying players for time they are working in the offseason, the possible benefits here are multiple.
With paychecks now coming during the offseason, it’s possible more players can spend time training as opposed to working second, or even third jobs, hopefully leading to better outcomes for prospects. Also, Kyle Bandujo and Perrin brought up other interesting, possibly unintended outcomes, on the aforementioned episode of From Phenom to the Farm, such as more time in the offseason for players to complete or get college degrees, something plenty of minor league players don’t have. Also, with a living wage during the offseason, it’s possible a signing bonus can now become a true bonus, leaving the players with a lump sum of money that no longer needs stretched over several years, but can rather be spent on something like a down-payment on a house, for example.
There are other new, more minor concessions involving pay, such as $750 stipends for special events, such as the Futures Game or minor league all-star games, as well as increased per diem, from $25 to $30 a day, with cost-of-living adjustments figured in for the rest of the agreement. Clubhouse dues are still not permitted, even though those were abolished in 2020 for the 2021 season.
Finally, minor league free agents will have slightly different guidelines when it comes to their contracts.
Their salaries will be capped at $8,400 per week, with several contract terms that must be followed: maximum contract length of two seasons and guaranteed payments of $100,000, not allowed more than three clauses that call for the player’s release or assignment to another team if not on a major league roster by a certain date, and a maximum major league salary of $4 million.
As Michael Baumann of FanGraphs points out, these new payment standards aren’t going to make anyone rich and are significantly less than their counterparts from other leagues, as “G-Leaguers make a minimum of $40,500 a year…, while the AHL minimum is upwards of $50,000 a year.”
However, for a group that just finalized their first bargained agreement, this if nothing short of a success.
Much like with salaries, these are not the first strides MLB has made in housing, with changes being implemented in 2022. While the details seem to be quite similar, the existing program did have some shortcomings, so the new agreement will hopefully help cover for some of those deficiencies.
While MLB is expected to make “reasonable efforts” to institute the updated housing policy for 2023, it is to take full effect for the 2024 season.
While there were allowed to be no more than two players to a room before, players at Double and Triple-A will now have their own rooms while at home, while players in Low and High-A will either receive a bedroom—which they can be asked to share—or can choose to opt-out and receive a stipend. The stipend can be no less than $50 a night but no more than what would have otherwise been spent on housing the player, with the team having to be able to demonstrate said expense. The only players not guaranteed housing will be those either on a major league contract or on minor league deals that are making more than $4,666.67 per week, which would only be players signed as minor league free agents. These players are allowed to negotiate hosing in their contract, if they so choose.
Extended-stay hotels can only be used if approved by the MLBPA, and host families are no longer permitted. Players can only be housed in hotels, on a short-term basis, for up to 14 days.
Spring Training expectations are slightly different, with players staying in hotels or dorms, but no more than two beds per room. Players with at least 30 days of prior Double or Triple-A experience—or players expected to open at one of those levels—can instead choose the stipend, which has the same expectations as the in-season stipend.
As for housing on the road, all hotels must be approved by the commissioner’s office, with minimum standards expected to be kept, including a requirement of high-speed internet. Teams are allowed to have players share rooms while on the road.
As already alluded to, players had issues last season securing housing for their families—if they had them—and Perrin calls the changes for them the “biggest W” for any demographic in the deal, which includes updates to housing.
If given sufficient notice, teams are to provide “family friendly” housing options—married players are to receive a private bedroom, while players with one or more children are guaranteed at least two bedrooms. Stipends are also available, equal to the average rent for players at an affiliate, but no less than $50 a night.
For all levels of affiliates, housing is expected to be a commutable distance to and from the stadium and “include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, shared living space with typical appliances and furniture”. Players can’t be held responsible for certain utilities, such as electricity, water, gas, sewage, trash, or Wi-Fi, but subscription services, like Netflix, are fair game.
Among the improvements that came before a new minor league CBA, it doesn’t seem that anything transportation related was among them—aside from the reorganization of the minors when the number of affiliates was reduced, which decreased the total number of miles and hours traveled. Therefore, all these changes are likely new benefits for the players, which doesn’t come as a surprise, as Passan described these particular talks as “heated”.
For individual players, anyone below Double-A is guaranteed transportation to and from the park. As for Double and Triple-A, there are no guarantees, but if a player has an issue with transportation, the union and league are to work collaboratively to address any issues as they arise. Travel coordinators—which each team must have—are allowed to make reasonable requests of players with cars to accommodate players who do not.
If a player is sent somewhere by the team and drives, they will be reimbursed for the entire trip at the IRS mileage rate with no cap and will receive a hotel room for any trip lasting multiple days, if necessary. A player who makes the trip by plane receives a coach ticket, reimbursement for two checked bags—while catchers receive three—as well as transportation to and from the airport.
Players can also be reimbursed the cost of shipping their car from Spring Training, as long as the team doesn’t let them drive from their Spring Training site and they are given adequate notice.
As for team travel, road trips must be made with two full-size buses, and if the trip is more than 250 miles, luxury or sleeper buses must be used—as long as they are available. For flights, players will be seated in coach, with “reasonable luggage fees” and transportation to and from the airport.
For trips lasting longer than 550 miles for Triple-A teams, the league and union will work together in determining whether plane or bus will be used to make the trip.
In 2020, MLB revamped how they fed their minor leaguers, paying for meals at the stadium and eliminating dues from the players—anywhere from $8 to $15 a day at the time—which were previously used to pay for clubhouse spreads. Mandated facility upgrades as part of the minor league overhaul also called for separate areas for food preparation and dining, which came with the expectation of higher quality meals than what had been provided.
Even still, nutrition standards were not always being upheld, but with new agreed upon expectations, that should change.
Teams are now expected to “provide high-quality meals both before and after every game and workout,” with a joint clubhouse nutrition committee to be instituted to address complaints and uphold standards. Teams are also expected to “provide cost-effective and nutritious snacks, and at least one NSF Certified for Sport protein supplement”.
Per diem is also set to increase from $25 to $30 a day, with cost-of-living adjustments to be calculated throughout the life of the agreement. Players will receive these payments “on days [they] are traveling to and from a team facility”.
Finally, the players received a suite of miscellaneous benefits, advantages that they’ve never received before, improving their quality of life and bringing a bit more fairness to the proceedings.
Most importantly, the players receive expanded medical benefits, such as dental and vision insurance at no cost and guaranteed medical care for 18 months to tend to work-related injuries—it was previously six months. While players will continue to have $0 premiums, starting in 2024 teams will now subsidize 80 percent of premiums for dependents, as well as offer dental and vision for dependents.
Players will also receive coverage for longer periods of time after being released. Before, they lost their coverage at midnight on the day they were released, but in 2024 a released player will receive coverage through the end of the calendar month, as well as COBRA for the player (100%) and dependents (80%) for either two or three months, depending on when they are released. Players who retire or declare free agency will also retain coverage through the end of the calendar month.
Injured players will also now have the right to a second medical opinion, something they’ve never had before.
Further expanded benefits include a $50,000 life insurance benefit offered by all teams, as well as enhanced retirement. A pension plan will be replaced by a 401K plan—something not every team offered—with a total of $2,500,000 being contributed by the teams each year. This will be distributed to the accounts of players based on the number of months on a roster during the season, whereas the previous pension plan required five years of service in order to vest.
Jointly agreed upon workplace policies—such as grievance, drug, and domestic violence—will now be instituted, fashioned after the ones already in place in the majors.
Appeals regarding discipline will now be heard by a neutral arbitrator, while an MLB-designated officer will preside over hearings regarding other matters. The drug testing program will now be a joint effort, as opposed to the previously league administered program, and the treatment board will now have MLBPA representation. First time positive tests for stimulants will now result in a warning as opposed to a suspension, and there will now be a formal process for appealing a therapeutic use exemption denial.
Mirroring a benefit that college athletes recently received, players will now have control of their full name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights, whereas they were previously controlled by the league. Collectively, the union can leverage these in group-licensing deals, while players can use them to make extra money through advertisements and promotions. While there are still restrictions—necessary cooperation with promotional, charitable, and community activities; team use of player’s NIL for promotion purposes; club consent for TV and public appearances by the player; among others—the policy still more closely mirrors that of MLB and gives the players the right to use something that quite obviously has always belonged to them.
An interesting side effect to watch will be whether this encourages players to choose the minor leagues over college, as these specific rights—as well as better treatment overall—are now more on par with benefits that would be received in college. It’s unlikely to tip the scales, as a player is more likely to gain a foothold locally for money making purposes in three years as opposed to as little as a few months per minor league stop, but it at least bears watching.
Finally, there are more miscellaneous benefits that need mentioned, such as the formation of a joint committee that will allow players to provide feedback on rule changes—MLB still maintains the right to institute changes, however—required availability of English classes at every affiliate and Spanish classes upon request, and the reduction of club reservation rights over players that sign at age 19 or older from seven to six years. This new policy is not retroactive and will only apply to players who sign after the agreement, but will allow older players to reach minor league free agency a bit faster.
Despite ten-year Professional Development Licenses (PDLs) that were signed in 2020 as part of the overhauling of the minors, MLB agreed not to further contract the minors from 120 teams during the length of the new deal. As these PDLs are set to expire after 2030 and the deal lasts until 2027, this was unlikely to happen anyway, but “the MLBPA wanted to get that clause on the books” for future deals, as well as for “peace of mind”.
It should also be noted, as Drellich points out, that the “agreement also makes clear that the sides do not agree on whether the number of affiliates is a mandatory subject of bargaining — the league thinks it is not, the union thinks it is.” Mandatory subjects directly impact the worker and must be bargained over, while permissive subjects are “not directly related to the work” and need not be negotiated. Since there won’t be further contraction during this deal, MLB likely considered this permissive, and this disagreement won’t be an issue over the next few years. If MLB tries to reduce the number of affiliates during the next negotiations without feeling the need to bargain and controversy ensues, that difference of opinion would ultimately be up to the National Labor Relations Board to settle.
MLB will still have control over what teams are affiliated with them and what level each team gets classified at, however.
Despite an overwhelming win for the players, when it comes to bargaining you must give to get, and there was one massive loss the players had to take to mollify owners—fewer jobs.
Back in 2020, when MLB reduced the size of the minor leagues, they also instituted a Domestic Reserve List, which limited the number of players a team could have in the minors at any one time. There are exceptions—DSL players don’t count, nor do those on the 60-day or Full Season Injured Lists—but its goal was to reduce the number of minor league players, as the number of teams had also just gone down.
The MLBPA had to fight off these overtures from ownership during the last lockout, winning the battle but ultimately losing the war. As Drellich points out, ownership sees this as “right-sizing rosters, believing that if it were starting the minor leagues over today, there wouldn’t be as many spots as there are now.” This, in turn, was their key issue, so it’s no surprise that this is where it ended up.
MLB was hoping for the unilateral right to set the rosters as they saw fit, but the MLBPA did not allow this. What will happen, however, is that the league reserves the right, starting in 2024, to reduce the size of the rosters by 15 players—from 180 to 165 in season and 190 to 175 during the offseason.
According to Passan, the “league countered with data that showed over the previous two years, teams on average had 166 players on their rosters”; however, it’s unclear if these numbers included injured players or not. With a max of 15 players on the 60-day IL per organization—not including full-season designations—166 could actually be 181, and just may ultimately turn into 151 and 166 with the new limits.
Either way, the players ultimately decided that fewer higher paid jobs were worth everything they were receiving in return. There is no indication it will dip below 165 at any point during the agreement.
It’s at least possible, that with all the increases in quality-of-life saw by the players, that more minor leaguers will now be able to keep playing baseball as opposed to having to quit, and for every job lost that one player that couldn’t make it may now will be able to.
Finally, after the ruling on the $185 million settlement in the Senne lawsuit, MLB feared further lawsuits and wanted to avoid being sued under wage laws. As part of the deal, the MLBPA agreed that any wage and hour lawsuits would come via arbitration and not the courts. Also, the agreement stipulates that “union and league will express joint support for legislation that would provide a narrowly tailored exemption from wage and hour laws that otherwise could apply to Players, provided the exemption would only apply to Players who are being compensated under the CBA.”
What Comes Next
As is evident, the players have tons of positives to focus on in their new deal, but with an eye towards 2027, more can obviously always be achieved: better pay, better benefits, transportation for Double and Triple-A, etc. When it comes to negotiating deals, it’s easier to get more of something than to get something new.
However, there is one major concern for the players to rally around and fight come 2027—further contraction.
Based on what he’s heard, Perrin thinks that it’s a “done deal” that the league will attempt to totally cut out one level of A-ball and just move to Single, Double, and Triple-A for affiliated ball, as he’s heard they have already been attempting to do that but weren’t able to achieve it this time around. With that in mind, it will likely be the MLBPA’s top priority in the next labor deal to protect as many jobs as possible.
For now, however, the players—and fans alike—can celebrate, having won a long, hard, worthwhile battle fought over the last few years, culminating in an outcome that many never thought possible.
A longtime Pirates Prospects reader, Ethan has been covering payroll, transactions, and rules in-depth since 2018 and dabbling in these topics for as long as he can remember. He started writing about the Pirates at The Point of Pittsburgh before moving over to Pirates Prospects at the start of the 2019 season.
Always a lover of numbers and finding an answer, Ethan much prefers diving into these topics over what’s actually happening on the field. These under and often incorrectly covered topics are truly his passion, and he does his best to educate fans on subjects they may not always understand, but are important nonetheless.
When he’s not updating his beloved spreadsheets, Ethan works full-time as an accountant, while being a dad to two young daughters and watching too many movies and TV shows at night.
Thanks for the info. Some good some bad. MLB still wants to reduce the number and size of minor league baseball. I guess they want to save money, since the billions they make put them in the poor house. Eventually MLB will have no prospects and will try to use colleges as it’s free minor league. Players must have the opportunity to play to advance their skills. By limiting the number of minor league teams and players seems to be counter productive.
Great work as always Ethan!
Phenomenal work, Ethan! This was a mountain of info to work through, and you distilled to excellently.
Thank you, much appreciated. I wanted to merge the two main sources of info–Passan, which was more like a traditional article, and Drellich, which was all the good info, while adding some additional context from interviews and my own knowledge. I think it worked out well.
What do the meal and housing provisions mean for the Pirates teams specifically.
I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you mean. They have to provide them, just like every other team.
I know exactly where the Curve are housed–I drove by it every day in the before times, when I worked in an office. Unless that doesn’t fit parameters now, I don’t know.
At Bradenton, are they housed at the facility? Are meals provided there? Are there facilities at the other ;locations or is it hotel accommodations?
When I saw it was the case, I just had to include that Basabe was integral to the negotiations. I thought that was pretty cool.
Great breakdown of all of this Ethan. I found it pretty wild that in AA/AAA you aren’t guaranteed transportation to home games. Always good to see the dudes chasing their dream getting better taken care of. Thanks again.
Brilliant write-up and answers so many questions. Two questions I have (that I might have missed in the write-up):
What will this mean for participation in the extra seasons (AFL, Venezuela, Australia, etc.)? I would guess AFL is paid under the contract, but outside US is not — if that’s the case, do players have incentive to play in those leagues, or can teams assign them to play there? I would think many would prefer to stay stateside and get paid to train.I think you mentioned this does not apply to the Dominican Summer League. Are teams applying some of these terms for those players, and similar to the first question, can a team just assign someone to a location not covered by the cba?Thanks again for the details and the assessment of the agreement.
Here and there in the sports world, questions are going to arise about what exactly this deal provides in this or that area. And no writer or anybody else is going to have a clue, or be able to find an answer, unless they find this piece.
Thank you for always being supportive and complimentary of my work; it’s much appreciated.
But I mean, anyone could open a few of the links I cited and get the same info.
I’m going to disagree with your last line.
In theory, yes, anyone could do what you did. It’s easy for you to say, because you’ve done it, so you know exactly what they’d need to do to get all of this info and recreate the article. This doesn’t mean anyone else will do this. Or, do it as well as you.
In reality, no one else will do this. The energy and focus required to take such an exponential topic and lay it out in linear fashion across 4500 words is an extremely difficult thing to do. Not many people can do that and remain readable through the entire thing. Most importantly, few people have the base knowledge you have to even attempt something on this subject.
Even readers who are looking for the info may not have found it without you making it clear what they should be looking for, or how to make sense of it. There’s so much focus in this sports writing world on getting new information. There are people who report the news and there are people who make sense of what is reported. You are the latter, and it’s a very rare thing. Don’t sell yourself short.
This entire article was inimitable. I couldn’t even do this if you gave me the links.
Yeah, but they’d have to find the links and make sense out of the info. I’m a retired lawyer and I can’t sort through this stuff any more. Pieces like this make it so easy.
Don’t want to be unfair. Drellich did a very nice job reporting on this, but everything I’ve said still stands.
I just recently made a donation in support of the Pirates Prospects website. This excellent article by Ethan gave me a great return on investment. I am amazed by the clarity and in-depth analysis. Well done.
Thanks so much for the kind words, as well as the support. That is much appreciated.
Exceptional work Ethan!
Always nice to see a wrong get righted, even if it took more than 100 years. As far as I can tell this agreement is a win for all parties concerned, but definitely for players more than management.
And call me naïve but I just can’t fathom that even the owners would get behind eliminating another entire level of minor league ball in the future. They really think they’re just gonna stash like 60 kids on the complex at once for years on end?
You can see how teams are already setting this up with their Single-A teams being in the same location as the complex leagues.
The teams don’t care about stats at that level. I could see MLB making a move where everyone eliminates their version of the Bradenton Marauders. However, games would still be played. They’d just be more like extended Spring Training than what we see now at LECOM.
Man, I suppose I could get behind it as long as there were game-developmental opportunities for a roughly-equivalent number of players.
Thanks for educating me, Tim!