There will be no minor league baseball in 2020. MiLB announced yesterday that it was canceling the season after MLB teams said they would not provide affiliated clubs with players.
With no games this year, some communities might not have a goodbye tour for their local teams as MiLB had started to work with MLB to realign the minors and eliminate approximately 40 organizations. Minor League Baseball is now in “dire straits,” according to MiLB CEO Pat O’Conner.
“It’s north of half [of teams] who could either have to sell [or go insolvent without government or other help,” O’Conner said. “I could see this [economic impact] lingering into 2022, 2023 easily. In some cases, possibly a little longer.”
Amid the shutdown, Minor League teams have explored creative ways to survive. For example, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos offered their stadium up on Airbnb while others found ways to provide their communities with food. Several teams in Texas and Oklahoma were granted limited expansion franchises for the Texas Collegiate League, which opened yesterday.
Still, many teams across the country have been forced to lay off or furlough employees – and more could be on the way to doing the same now without a season to look forward to in 2020. Minor league players are also facing several issues of their own, ranging from long-term development after missing a full season to whether or not teams will keep paying their $400 per week stipends as MLB required through at least May 31. Many teams have committed to paying the minor leaguers through the end of the season.