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Rob Manfred Capitalizing On Global Pandemic To Kill Minor League Baseball

Let’s call it what it is. Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball sought to kill the Major League draft not because of the COVID19 pandemic. No, he used it as a ruse to facilitate his plan to contract minor league baseball.

Remember, Baseball America first reported Manfred’s plans to contract 42 minor league teams in November. That plan included reducing the draft to 20 rounds, and it was going to be pushed back from June to August. There was also going to be a limit of 150-200 minor leaguers for each organization. Currently, there is no limit.

By and through these plans, short season ball is going to be effectively eliminated. In terms of the Mets, that means no more Kingsport Mets, and it means the Brooklyn Cyclones will have to pay a fee in the ballpark from $8 – $12 million dollars to move from the New York-Penn League to Double-A.

That also effectively puts the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in limbo. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The Rumble Ponies have already been pegged as one of the 42 teams subject to contraction. It is something they are fighting fiercely.

One of the key elements to having no short-season ball is to not accumulate a larger number of minor league players. With fewer minor leaguers, you do not have enough players for leagues like the Appalachian, Gulf Coast, New York-Penn, and other leagues. By moving the draft back to August, you no longer have the need to have a league for college and high school players to get some playing time in before the end of the year.

This is exactly what Major League Baseball is doing a year earlier, and they are using the COVID19 pandemic as an excuse. They’ll say they didn’t have an opportunity to scout players who are entering this year’s draft due to high school and collegiate years being shut down, but that’s a lie. Major League Baseball has been well aware of those players they were going to draft, and they have been scouting them for years.

What they missed is the opportunity to see them grow or regress. Keep in mind, they have no issue using their big money on those draft picks as the first five picks receive the largest bonuses. This was more about cost control by prorating bonuses paid to minor leaguers over a few years, by capping the bonuses given to now undrafted players, and by taking a step forward in eliminating a significant portion of the minor leagues.

To show you how short-sighted this plan is look at the New York Mets roster by where they were drafted:

Think about that for a second. Under this plan, the reigning two-time Cy Young award winner who has established himself as the best pitcher in baseball would not get drafted in 2020. Looking further, under Manfred’s master plan, Mike Piazza, one of two Mets in the Hall of Fame, would never have been drafted, and it is questionable if he ever would have received an opportunity due to the cap on minor league players.

Looking at this plan and agreement, there is one glaring omission. In addition to deferring payments to 2020 draftees, there was no provision in this agreement to pay minor league players their 2020 salary. On that note, both Rob Manfred and Tony Clark should be ashamed of themselves.

Really, this entire agreement is an embarassment for baseball. The sport needed better leadership than what they are providing, and worse yet, the commissioner is taking advantage of global pandemic to take away money and jobs from players and minor league employees.

7 thoughts on “Rob Manfred Capitalizing On Global Pandemic To Kill Minor League Baseball”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    More buffoon news.

    Here, let me be editor for you. In the last two days:

    Syndergaard had surgery and the doctors commented. (Analysis?)

    MLB and the players association established the criteria for a return to play. (Do you agree with them?)

    The Daily News reported that Citifield employees have not been paid. (Have other teams paid their employees?)

    MLB and the players association announced that players service time clock would not stop due to the pandemic. (How does this effect the Mets?)

    The Athletic announced that the Mets were still actively shopping the team during the pandemic ( how does that effect the price?)

    It was stated that there would not be a spring training period should play resume, games would basically start right up (how does that effect the Mets?)

    Ok? No more Opening Day trivia posts or I’ll have you covering ice carvings in the Artic.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I could do a post saying how great you are, and you’d waste hours telling me I was wrong.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Enough whining, just get to work on that list.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’m just going to continue what I do, and you can continue to troll

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            It is a shame you weren’t raised by trolls who wrapped a lick of sense into you mushy skull.

            Whatever….okay…..rate diapers and their availability in the CitiField area. It isn’t like those seven stories matter, right? Which one are you going to do first?

          2. metsdaddy says:

            If you chose a random word generator you’d make more sense

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