The tension surrounding the MLB and MiLB’s negotiations just got even louder. After the MLB proposed cutting 42 minor league teams in an effort to raise salaries, the MiLB has taken their fight public, drawing the criticism and ire of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) December 14, 2019
After Manfred called out the MiLB on Wednesday for taking a “take-it-or-leave-it, status quo approach,” the minor league association responded by publishing a four page memo on Friday rebutting the MLB’s “demonstrably inaccurate” talking points.
Rather than rebut the MiLB, Manfred decides to respond instead by threatening to walk away from the minor leagues altogether and forming a new minor league system.
“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 the 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.”
If MLB was to walk away from the minor leagues, that means the Dodgers could possibly lose four current affiliates including the Rookie League Ogden Raptors, with whom they have been affiliated since 2003. In addition to Ogden, the Dodgers could be forced to walk away from the Great Lakes Loons, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, and Tulsa Drillers.
The Dodgers own their Triple A affiliate, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, and two Dominican Summer League teams, so theoretically they would be able to take those teams with them.
Manfred: How do we fix baseball
People: Make it more affordable to go to games, get rid of the blackouts
Manfred: You want a crazy ball?
People: Well, no. But you coul-
Manfred: PITCH CLOCKS
Manfred: You drive a hard bargain. Okay. We'll get rid of the minor leagues
— Thickie Don (@AstrosCounty) December 14, 2019