MLB Comissioner Rob Manfred Threatens To Cut Ties With MiLB Amid Rising Tensions
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

With the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between MLB and Minor League teams set to expire at the conclusion of the 2020 season, both sides have engaged in early negotiations to work out a new one.

MiLB and MLB would need to agree to a new PBA and have it ratified before the start of the 2021 Minor League season. To say talks have gone nowhere to this point would be an understatement.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has proposed sweeping changes to the sport, including the elimination of more than 40 Minor League affiliates.

Manfred believes the reduction of teams could be beneficial in that it would clear a path for higher salaries for Minor League players on top of improving work and travel conditions.

While some executives are on board with this idea, MLB has largely received criticism for their suggestion of cutting back on more than a quarter of Minor League affiliates.

Manfred recently doubled down on his stance and essentially threatened to walk away from Minor League Baseball unless a compromise can be made.

“If the National Association [of Minor League Clubs] has an interest in an agreement with Major League Baseball, it must address the very significant issues with the current system at the bargaining table,” Manfred said in a statement.

“Otherwise, MLB clubs will be free to affiliate with any minor league team or potential team in the United States, including independent league teams and cities which are not permitted to compete for an affiliate under the current agreement.”

Congress members have expressed firm opposition to Manfred’s proposal, believing that the trimming of Minor League teams would hamper affected cities, among other factors.

“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 from Congress 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.”

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