- In an unsurprising announcement, the MiLB announced that the 2020 minor league baseball season has officially been cancelled
- MiLB already faced a controversial season based around cutting down on teams and minor league players’ pay
- Most Major League clubs have committed to a $400 weekly stipend to all minor leaguers through the end of August
An announcement that’s been widely expected was delivered on Tuesday afternoon, and like with the recent battle between the MLB and the Players’ Association, there doesn’t appear to be any winners here, either.
2020 MiLB Season Officially Cancelled
In a long-anticipated announcement, MiLB announced on Tuesday that their 2020 season has been officially cancelled.
The league made it’s announcement on their official Twitter page.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 30, 2020
While widely expected, the news comes at a big-time blow to young players hopeful of continuing a chase for a MLB roster spot.
Of course, there are never-ending repercussions here.
The most obvious one would be minor league players losing a full season of development. Losing an entire season’s worth of game-action is devastating to young players and their chase to one day play Major League Baseball.
However, the global pandemic made a minor league season all but impossible.
Minor league clubs rely almost entirely on in-person, gameday revenue to prosper. Without a season, many teams have been forced to lay off staff as the trickle-down effect of a shortened MLB season takes its toll on those underneath.
As a result, minor league teams have seen nearly a complete halt to revenue as today’s announcement serves a final dagger in what was widely expected.
2020 Season Already Tension-Filled
Minor league baseball has still managed to receive some attention of late, but not in a positive light.
In December, MLB and MiLB negotiations took an ominous turn as Major League Baseball looked to cut down the number of minor league affiliates – and therefore players – in each organization.
Some executives, including Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen and Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro reportedly backed the idea of reducing the numbers of minor league players and affiliates in each organization.
The goal on MLB’s behalf was not to cut aggregate player development costs but to more efficiently allocate their resources among the organization’s more promising prospects.
It would certainly be a radical change to the outlook for minor league baseball and their fans, many of whom are loyal to the minor league clubs.
Another negative aspect to minor league baseball that’s made headlines revolves around the players’ inability to receive a reasonable paycheck.
Many major league clubs have committed to paying their minor league players a $400 weekly stipend through the end of August, which coincides with when the minor league season would have come to a conclusion.
However, a mere $1,600 a month is hardly a livable wage while most minor league players made less than $10,000 per season, pandemic aside.
Keep in mind that many minor league players were cut loose from organizations recently, meaning those who are still receiving the $400 weekly check can be considered the lucky ones.
While some minor league players have been added to the 60-man player pool allotted for each MLB team in the shortened, 60-game 2020 season and will continue to be paid, the cancellation of the minor league season is certainly detrimental to players who will now sit at home without playing baseball in 2020, missing notable development time in the process.