Major League Baseball is coming close to finalizing a plan that would completely revamp the structure of Minor League Baseball as we have known it.
It’s detailed in this Baseball America article, and here’s the gist of how it would work. Previously, minor-league organizations would sign two- or four-year affiliation agreements with MLB teams. Now, there will be 120 teams across four levels, and:
MLB will be presenting a contract—the Professional Development License—to individual owners. If an owner opts to not sign the PDL, MLB would likely move on to a team left out of the 120 to fill the open slot.
Theoretically, there could be further negotiations between individual teams and MLB once the teams receive the licenses, or a group of MiLB teams could band together to try to get changes to language in the license, but there is not going to be an agreed-upon contract that the two sides have worked out together.
These “licenses” are likely to be for 10 years, but some minor-league teams have been lobbying for them to be as long as 15-year licenses. The BA article isn’t clear on the length of the license.
Here is the proposed league structure, first for Double-A and Triple-A:
MLB has also laid out that it plans to have two Triple-A Leagues, one in the Eastern United States and one in the Western U.S., which is similar to the current format of the Pacific Coast League…