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Thread: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

  1. #31
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    I wonder about increasing the number of kids going to college though.

    Look at Hunter Greene, and other high school kids projected to be major leaguers.
    It will still be extremely tempting to get the big signing bonus, plus a fully paid college tuition from MLB if they wash out.
    Every year, there's kids that are college bound, but then they get drafted in a late round and offered 500k or so and decide to forgo
    college. These kids are not going to care if there's no longer lower levels to gently bring them up to speed, IMO. They are getting a lot of bonus money, plus free college as a backup.. Still a fantastic deal.. Look at Greene, had he gone to college, his arm injury happens there. Instead, he has 6 million dollars (or whatever) in his pocket. Heck, Greene may have already been hurt at the time of the draft (or on the verge of a serious injury), and that's why he only pitched a handful of innings his senior year in HS.
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  3. #32
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    I wonder if there might be some system where MLB (the umbrella organization) pays tuition at a school for a high school player going to college, so long as that player plays baseball for that school (school would have to agree to it of course). But maybe he can't enter the draft until he has his degree?
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Maybe I missed something but I don't see any reference to or examples of where these players being subjected to unsafe working conditions. What were these unsafe conditions?

    Like any other business there are federal state and local laws that apply and there are people who enforce them. All they would have to do is make a phone call or two.
    Just one example I have seen:

    At some of the older single A parks, the dugouts aren’t big enough to hold all the players, so some players have to sit in folding chairs outside the dugout, on the field in foul territory. That’s not very safe, imo.
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  6. #34
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Holy over-reaction to a news report, Batman. Let’s keep in mind...this was a proposal by one of two parties involved in a negotiating process. There will be a counter-proposal. As is often the case in negotiating, it is possible that this proposal was extended for the purpose of impacting the expected counter-proposal.

    Things we know (and have known for a while):

    1). More money is going to have to come from somewhere to fund the pay increases that are coming for the minor league players, who are employees of the major league teams, not the minor league teams.

    2). The major league teams would almost certainly like to see the minor league teams contribute more of their ticket money to help pay part of that cost.

    3). The minor league teams would almost certainly prefer not to give the major league teams more of their ticket money than what they are already doing.

    4). The two sides are currently negotiating.

    5). It would not be surprising that if the major league teams were not getting a satisfactory compromise from the minor league teams on this issue of the increase in pay for the players, that they might come up with a proposal that would get their attention, like threatening to put a bunch of people out of business, and then see if that changes things.
    Well I don't think I'm over reacting. Seen too many situations like this in my life. Whatever the outcome is of this, I think what I perceive minor league baseball to be will be a lesser product when this is done.

    What I think should be done..

    Minor Leaguers should be paid more and paid by the major league clubs. MLB is flush with cash.
    Draft should stay in June. Moving it to August is simply an attempt at gaining another year of eligibility of control of players.
    Short Season teams should stay.
    If MLB legitimately thinks massive realignment will save wear and tear and travel expenses, I think that is reasonable and do-able. In Jacksonville I think we'd be in no danger of losing a team but I can see arguments for staying where we are (AA) moving to AAA or replacing Daytona as a High A club. It wouldn't matter that much to me.
    If 25% of teams do not meet MLB's standards, then minor league baseball needs to make that happen. Your license to operate a franchise should be dependent on meeting those standards. Whether that means you simply lose the team, you have to move it, the city pays for upgrades, or the MLB team takes over the franchise and pays for it.
    Once all Minor League teams meet minimums, I like the current system where both sides get to opt out every couple years. It keeps both sides honest.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

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  8. #35
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    BTW for all the people that used to say "Make Lexington a Reds franchise", in this crazy scenario it could happen. I assume Dayton stays a Reds franchise but what if they became AA like Akron? Then maybe Lexington becomes a Low A franchise available to Reds.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

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  10. #36
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    Draft should stay in June. Moving it to August is simply an attempt at gaining another year of eligibility of control of players.
    How does moving it to August gain another year of control? Players drafted in June are already controlled for 6 full seasons not counting the year they are drafted - so no difference.

    I'm actually going to lunch tomorrow with an old colleague who still works in the industry and I plan to pick his brain on this, I hope he gives me something I can share to you all.

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  12. #37
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    I was referring to seasons before they have to be added to the 40.. I believe that counts the first season. If not.....disregard.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  13. #38
    Middle Class Rut TRF's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Amarillo built a park, and a beautiful one at that. 2 other teams opened new parks this Year, Las Vegas and Fayetteville. 4 more are going to open next year: Madison, Alabama, Wichita, Kansas; Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Kannapolis, North Carolina. I found at least one more park slated to open in 2021 for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

    I believe part of the deal for San Antonio to become a AAA team was a new ballpark It's in the RFP process now. That's 8, potentially 9 new parks in a 3-5 year period.

    Add to this that Manfred wants MLB to be 32 teams. As it stands, that's an additional 14-18 minor league teams.

    I don't think MLB will go to a 4 team minor league system. I also don't think the DSL is a part of the proposal. I think 6 teams is reasonable, and I don't think any MiLB cities will lose an affiliation, though they may lose their current affiliation. It really depends on how aggressive Manfred is in adding two MLB cities. If a city loses an affiliation it will be because another city lured them away (Madison, AL, Amarillo, TX).

    Like someone has already stated, MLB's proposal is just that, a proposal. MiLB will counter, and expansion will likely play a role in the final decision.
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  14. #39
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    I think some people are confusing two different crisis events, possibly because they don’t understand how the franchise system works in minor league baseball. Here are two totally different scenarios, with one being realistic and the other just a threat.

    1) A team that plays in an old, rundown, substandard facility is told by MLB that the ballpark is not adequate and they will not allow its continued use. In that case, the businessman who owns the team continues to own the franchise, which is still worth millions, even though he doesn’t have a ballpark to play in. He can sell the franchise to an owner in another city, or relocate the team himself, or try to find a way to get a new ballpark built in the current city. But he still has a franchise that he paid for and is worth several million dollars, even without a home.

    2) MLB eliminates a team entirely...just shuts them down, which is what has been suggested by the two news stories. In this case, the owner totally loses his investment. There is no franchise to sell or relocate. Very different scenario.

    In my opinion, number two is not realistic. It is a threat to get the MiLB owners to pay part of the cost of increasing the player salaries. The only teams that might possibly be eliminated would be someone like Greeneville, where the Reds actually own/operate the business, which they were given for basically nothing. So it is possible that MLB could eliminate enough of those that the 14 extra Short-Season clubs go away, and every team has four full season clubs, one complex-based team (AZL or GCL) and one other short-season club, like Billings, that is privately owned.

    They are not going to eliminate 44 teams and cut clubs that used public money for stadium improvements. It will not happen. It is a negotiating tactic.

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  16. #40
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    I think some people are confusing two different crisis events, possibly because they don’t understand how the franchise system works in minor league baseball. Here are two totally different scenarios, with one being realistic and the other just a threat.

    1) A team that plays in an old, rundown, substandard facility is told by MLB that the ballpark is not adequate and they will not allow its continued use. In that case, the businessman who owns the team continues to own the franchise, which is still worth millions, even though he doesn’t have a ballpark to play in. He can sell the franchise to an owner in another city, or relocate the team himself, or try to find a way to get a new ballpark built in the current city. But he still has a franchise that he paid for and is worth several million dollars, even without a home.

    2) MLB eliminates a team entirely...just shuts them down, which is what has been suggested by the two news stories. In this case, the owner totally loses his investment. There is no franchise to sell or relocate. Very different scenario.

    In my opinion, number two is not realistic. It is a threat to get the MiLB owners to pay part of the cost of increasing the player salaries. The only teams that might possibly be eliminated would be someone like Greeneville, where the Reds actually own/operate the business, which they were given for basically nothing. So it is possible that MLB could eliminate enough of those that the 14 extra Short-Season clubs go away, and every team has four full season clubs, one complex-based team (AZL or GCL) and one other short-season club, like Billings, that is privately owned.

    They are not going to eliminate 44 teams and cut clubs that used public money for stadium improvements. It will not happen. It is a negotiating tactic.
    #1 and #2 are not what the articles are suggesting at all. The articles are suggesting that there will be 42 clubs that will no longer be affiliated with MiLB/MLB. Essentially, the contracts those clubs have to be affiliated with the pro leagues will not be picked up after the 2020 season. They don't get shut down - they simply become indy organizations, some would likely fold - some would likely join the Atlantic/American/Frontier Leagues, mlb/milb would for a time be open to supplementing them as a "Dream League" where NDFAs would go play.

    After a discussion I had today, I will be passing some information on to you all that goes into greater detail how this will end up working.

  17. #41
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsm View Post
    Essentially, the contracts those clubs have to be affiliated with the pro leagues will not be picked up after the 2020 season. They don't get shut down - they simply become indy organizations, some would likely fold - some would likely join the Atlantic/American/Frontier Leagues, mlb/milb would for a time be open to supplementing them as a "Dream League" where NDFAs would go play.
    If they are not getting shut down, then why wouldn’t they have the option to continue in their same league without a PDC and sign their own players? If they are not getting shut down, then what happens to their MiLB franchise agreement, which in most cases, is worth several million dollars (see Beloit situation in the Midwest League—their stadium did not meet standards, but they held one of 16 Midwest League franchises and had the option to sell that franchise to an owner in another city. Value of a franchise at that level, even without a stadium to play in, was somewhere around 10 million dollars, simply because there are only 16 in existence. What happens to their franchise agreement?). I mean, you say they are not being shut down, and then the options you offer as their alternatives would be the exact same thing that anyone would have if they were shut down.

    Are you seriously buying this “Dream League” concept? Seriously? “We are going to stop providing you with players, but you can keep using your own field, sign guys we don’t want, pay all your own player and coach salaries, pay their insurance, workman’s comp, take on all those expenses, and operate like an independent league, and we will somehow act like we provided you with a soft landing.” Did they think that up in about five minutes and tack it on to the proposal and expect someone would think that was ok?

    As I said, this was all a proposal in a negotiation. What MLB wants from the MiLB owners in their counter proposal is an increase in the percentage of MiLB ticket revenue that goes back to MLB, and that would cover the cost of the inevitable increase in MiLB player salaries. When MLB gets that counter proposal, then the MLB idea of putting existing MiLB teams out of business will start to go away. It is just a case of trying to use leverage.

    Why is MLB suddenly concerned with all these issues that have been in effect for decades? MiLB stadiums today are a heck of a lot better than they ever were in the past. As far as player travel, hotel quality, all that stuff in the two news stories...did MLB just suddenly develop a conscience and say, hey, we better start making things better for our players? Or did they see this big new expense (MiLB player salaries) that they fought tooth and nail until there were lawsuits and court decisions and it became inevitable that it would happen, and conveniently their deal with MiLB is about to expire, and they decided to find some way to leverage that deal to cover the new expenses?

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  19. #42
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    There's quite a bit to unpack here.

    I'm very skeptical that there will be significant raises and upgrades in hotel and transportation. I will admit that I'm pretty ignorant on what they use for transportation. I'm guessing that most - if not all - teams have those nice buses that you use for tours and whatnot. Not the lap of luxury by any means but not old school buses either. IIRC, some teams are required to bus a great distance overnight to get to a game the next night after playing the night before. You're playing a game in Dayton and then you have to be in Cedar Rapids for a game the next night. On trips like that I'd like to see a day off between games. As for accommodations, I have to plead ignorance on that as well. From what I understand, especially in the low minors, teams go to motels and guys sleep 4-5 to a room. Obviously that's not ideal but if you're trying to save a buck, it's something you do. As for raises, are they going to be just token raises so MLB can say, "See, we gave them raises." My guess is it's going to be like when they raise the minimum raise.

    As for contracting teams, I hate to sound hard-hearted but if you have a minor league franchise in the low minors and your stadium isn't very good and very few people come to your games, you're probably losing money. Even if they upgraded their facilities, would significantly more people start coming to games? It's somewhat like New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham said about moving the Giants to San Francisco when asked about what the kids were going to do. He said something like, "I feel bad for the kids but I didn't see very many of their moms and dads at the games though." Minor league baseball is a business like any other business. Back in the 1940s just about any town worth its salt had a minor league franchise. With the advent of television by the 60s the number of teams dropped significantly. Could it be there are too many minor league teams now? Perhaps with fewer minor league teams, players could get moved up sooner or get the message to get on with their life's work.

    Not all of these things are probably going to happen but while I agree that conditions for the players should improve significantly I also don't see the need for some low A team to stay in business drawing 500 people a night.
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by WrongVerb View Post
    I wonder if there might be some system where MLB (the umbrella organization) pays tuition at a school for a high school player going to college, so long as that player plays baseball for that school (school would have to agree to it of course). But maybe he can't enter the draft until he has his degree?
    I would be super surprised if that didn’t break some kind of NCAA eligibility rule
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  23. #44
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsm View Post
    It will but not by a great deal unless they raise the number of scholarships they hand out.
    Good point. If the MLB institutes these changes, the NCAA should up scholarships allowed from 11.7 to 25 the next day.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    I would be super surprised if that didn’t break some kind of NCAA eligibility rule
    If it got the top level talent into their game in cooperation with Major League Baseball, the NCAA might change their rules.

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  25. #45
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    Re: MLB Reportedly Pursuing “Radical Restructuring” Of Lower Minors

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    If they are not getting shut down, then why wouldn’t they have the option to continue in their same league without a PDC and sign their own players? If they are not getting shut down, then what happens to their MiLB franchise agreement, which in most cases, is worth several million dollars (see Beloit situation in the Midwest League—their stadium did not meet standards, but they held one of 16 Midwest League franchises and had the option to sell that franchise to an owner in another city. Value of a franchise at that level, even without a stadium to play in, was somewhere around 10 million dollars, simply because there are only 16 in existence. What happens to their franchise agreement?). I mean, you say they are not being shut down, and then the options you offer as their alternatives would be the exact same thing that anyone would have if they were shut down.

    Are you seriously buying this “Dream League” concept? Seriously? “We are going to stop providing you with players, but you can keep using your own field, sign guys we don’t want, pay all your own player and coach salaries, pay their insurance, workman’s comp, take on all those expenses, and operate like an independent league, and we will somehow act like we provided you with a soft landing.” Did they think that up in about five minutes and tack it on to the proposal and expect someone would think that was ok?

    As I said, this was all a proposal in a negotiation. What MLB wants from the MiLB owners in their counter proposal is an increase in the percentage of MiLB ticket revenue that goes back to MLB, and that would cover the cost of the inevitable increase in MiLB player salaries. When MLB gets that counter proposal, then the MLB idea of putting existing MiLB teams out of business will start to go away. It is just a case of trying to use leverage.

    Why is MLB suddenly concerned with all these issues that have been in effect for decades? MiLB stadiums today are a heck of a lot better than they ever were in the past. As far as player travel, hotel quality, all that stuff in the two news stories...did MLB just suddenly develop a conscience and say, hey, we better start making things better for our players? Or did they see this big new expense (MiLB player salaries) that they fought tooth and nail until there were lawsuits and court decisions and it became inevitable that it would happen, and conveniently their deal with MiLB is about to expire, and they decided to find some way to leverage that deal to cover the new expenses?
    They will have the same option to continue in their league. But most won't be able to afford their own players, and their current league will quickly fold up shop. They are going to get compensated - teams that move up will have to pay teams that move down.

    Nope, I don't buy the "Dream League" concept, at least not for more than a few years. I think half of the NYPenn teams will probably go to the Atlantic League, a handful of teams will go to the Frontier, and handful of teams will go to the American, possibly even PECOS. The others will fold or become summer collegiate teams.

    After the conversation I had yesterday, I don't think the idea is going to go away. MLB has had terrible press regarding wages, they want to boost pay. They can do it easily without effecting their bottom line by cutting 25% of the players - who are nothing but org filler - and do it. This would actually increase the competition at all levels. They do want to rework the way the leagues are divided out as well for transportation concerns - I personally see very little of that happening.

    MLB is concerned about the stadiums, because many of them were built before 1990 and are worse than DIII stadiums.

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