There won’t be minor league baseball in 2020. The disappointing news is terrible for player development and the fans of minor league baseball.
Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic is reporting that the minor league baseball season will be canceled.
Washington made more than 30 roster cuts, including nearly all of the club's minor league free agents. Were told they'd be no minor lg season.
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) May 31, 2020
This should come as no surprise. MLB and MiLB haven’t been in negotiations to start the season.
With MLB, things are simpler. There are 30 teams and although making schedules work is challenging, it’s not impossible. The same can’t be said for the 160-plus minor league teams.
Minor leaguers have suffered terribly from the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve had their salaries slashed to next to nothing, a number have been cut, and now they won’t have any season to develop. To top it off, the MLB Draft has been cut down to just five rounds and will likely shrink forever.
That means MLB will have fewer minor league players in development who are receiving less development time. That’s a recipe for disaster. Young players are being set up for failure with the way the player development system is moving.
On top of all of this, MLB is also cutting their affiliation with over 20 minor league teams. Two well-known casualties are the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Kingsport Mets. In fact, there’s talk of eliminating short-season baseball entirely.
That’s killing baseball in a number of towns, and again limiting opportunities for minor league players. That means fewer minor leaguers, which means fewer potential stars in the MLB.
Minor league baseball is dying and COVID-19 is accelerating the process.