While the more than a century-old agreement between MLB and Minor League Baseball expired yesterday, negotiations are still ongoing to salvage the partnership. The historic relationship has been under pressure for the last year as MLB has sought to reorganize its development pipeline.
MLB’s desire is to eliminate up to 42 MiLB teams and revamp the organization with more power for the parent clubs. Millions of dollars and cultural community staples are at risk with the expiration of the agreement — the Single-A Kane County Cougars reported earlier this year that the team had an $11 million economic impact on their community in 2019.
As the future of MiLB’s relationship with MLB is sorted out, the independent leagues are now being pulled into the fold. In September, the Atlantic League became MLB’s first “partner league,” followed soon after by the two other major indy leagues: American Association and Frontier League.