Congress Members Express ‘Firm Opposition’ To Proposed Elimination Of Minor League Teams In Letter To MLB
General view of the United States Capitol building
Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

In addition to rising tension between MLB and the MLB Players Association, plus the spotlight brought about by cheating allegations against the Houston Astros, the league additionally is dealing with controversy amid proposed changes to the Minor League system.

The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between MLB and Minor League teams is due to expire at the conclusion of the 2020 season. MiLB and MLB would need to agree to a new PBA and have it ratified before the start of the 2021 Minor League season.

Under the current agreement, MLB clubs sign two-year contracts with affiliates. The Los Angeles Dodgers last did so with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Double-A Tulsa, High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Low-A Great Lakes in September 2018.

Amid proposed changes, more than 100 members of Congress wrote to MLB to express “firm opposition” to potentially eliminating more than 40 Minor League teams.

“The abandonment of Minor League clubs by Major League Baseball would devastate our
communities, their bond purchasers, and other stakeholders affected by the potential loss of these clubs,” the letter read.

“We want you to fully understand the impact this could have not only on the communities we represent, but also on the long-term support that Congress has always afforded our national
pastime on a wide variety of legislative initiatives.”

MLB responded to Congress in a letter that read in part, “In the current negotiations, MLB is seeking significant improvements to the Minor League system in order to enhance the development of players and improve their experience, including: (i) ensuring that all Minor League affiliates have facilities suitable for professional baseball players; (ii) reducing the travel burden on Minor League players by reorganizing the composition of certain leagues within MiLB in a more geographically efficient manner; (iii) improving the compensation, accommodations, and amenities for Minor League players; and (iv) improving the process by which Minor League teams
affiliate with a Major League Club.”

Adding tot his, Minor league players have a class-action lawsuit that alleges Major League owners have not complied with labor laws.

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