Major League and Minor League Baseball are still at the bargaining table, but the latter will now seat different representatives. According to J.J. Cooper of Baseball America, the MiLB leadership has named a new slate of negotiators.
It’s an interesting gambit with the clock ticking on the existing deal between the sides and plenty of ground left to cover. Indeed, as Cooper notes, some within the minor-league system now see a growing possibility that talks won’t result in a deal, which could even lead MLB to build its own new farm club network.
Cooper goes into full detail on the dynamics at play here; you’ll want to read the entire article to understand the situation. In brief, as he puts it: “The group that was disbanded on Monday was viewed by many to be more focused on the interests of MiLB owners rather than those of [MiLB president & CEO Pat O’Conner] and MiLB’s offices.”
No matter which negotiators attempt to close out the deal, it sounds as if contraction to 120 teams is now a fait accompli. While MiLB had built some leverage through political pressure, the global pandemic greatly undermined the organization’s position. If a bargain is struck, MLB is sure to gain much greater authority over minor-league operations, though the new MiLB negotiating team is expected to try to carve out an ongoing role for the organization and its leadership.