In 2020, professional baseball will be played. Pitchers will throw 100 mph 2-seam fastballs, catchers will throw runners out on attempts to steal second base, and fans wearing masks will cheer for the return of America’s pastime. While this will ultimately happen, it won’t for Minor League Baseball.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper and Josh Norris broke the news this morning that according to multiple sources: Minor League Baseball is expected to officially announce that the season has been shelved because Major League Baseball has failed to provide players.
What comes next?
Players who are not a part of their Major League team’s player pool will face the dreaded uncertainty of their future in professional baseball. With COVID-19 violently spiking in Florida and Arizona, the possibility of the instructional league and Arizona Fall League are looking bleaker with each day passing.
On top of losing a year of development, MiLB players also have to face the reality of financial situations amid a global pandemic and economic crisis. A lot of this will fall on whether or not the player’s parent club will continue to pay the $400 per week stipends that have been in the works since March.
Another problem to be faced
Before the pandemic, Minor League Baseball had already begun facing a crisis – Major League Baseball’s plan to chop ~40 of its teams as an effort to realign the organization.
Although the original list of teams has been pretty fluid, MiLB teams have worked off to remove themselves from the list within the last seven months. If the proposal from Major League Baseball – which it is clear the league is becoming top-notch at sending proposals – were to be adopted, the short-season New York-Penn and Rookie-level Appalachian and Pioneer Leagues would be eliminated from affiliated ball completely.
Therefore, the likely chance of some teams giving communities, fans, and players a farewell season is now officially gone with the help of COVID-19.