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Dodgers: MLB Threatens to Walk Away from Minor Leagues

Dodgers could lose up to four minor league affiliates.

H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

Written by Andres Soto

4 Comments

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  1. The NFL & the NBA don’t have to support a minor league system. They have the NCAA that does that for them. As college programs get more sophisticated there is less of a need for an extensive minor league system

  2. Let me see if I can follow this. We have guys like Harper, Machado, Cole, etc., etc., etc. Making hundreds of millions of dollars so we just don’t have enough left for minor leagues. Is that how it works? But all of those big contract guys came up through the minors where they were developed and recognized by the big clubs. What if the big shots had never been recognized? I guess they never would have become big shots?

    Could you substitute colleges for the minors? Are there alot of colleges in the Dominican Republic? Baseball is more international than football or basketball. College football and basketball are very popular and probably the only money makers in college sports. College baseball is a money loser that is funded by the football and basketball programs. Would this change if minor leagues were eliminated? Would college baseball suddenly become popular and profitable? I personally doubt it.

  3. Minor league teams wouldn’t go away. As the article points out, the structure and relationship to MLB would change. Many teams own their AAA teams and if the agreement with MiLB was eliminated an MLB team could arrange working agreements with as many (or as few) MiLB teams as they saw necessary. Again article pointed out that Dodgers own their own camps in Central America that are not associated with MiLB, so no change there. There is also the Japanese & Korean leagues that talent can be drawn from. College baseball has become much more sophisticated in the last 20 years to the point that many players coming out of college skip the lower levels of MiLB anyway. The current MiLB system is outdated and needs renovation. MLB is just wanting to relieve some of those incurred costs to support the current structure. The minor leagues will not go away, but there will be fewer of them because they are no longer necessary as a MLB pipeline.

  4. Here’s a thought how about get rid of Manfred ot however you spell his name …. The guy is ruining baseball period. Trying to speed up the game. Pitch clock. Computers as umpires. Hes an idiot … take a cut in pay and there is your money for the minor leagues. 2nd off baseball is totally different from NBA or nfl. Baseball takes years to get to the big leagues. You dont come out of high school or college and are able to play with these guys , mob is a meticulous game and these kids are not even close to playing at mlb level

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