As recently as June, the concept of an expanded Arizona Fall League was under consideration by Major League Baseball. But MLB has now decided to cancel the AFL’s 2020 season, Josh Norris of Baseball America reports.
The AFL is the latest baseball league to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cut this year’s major league season of 162 games to 60 and has canceled the minor league campaign.
Because there’s no minor league ball, teams have placed many of their best young players in their 60-man pool and allowed them to train at their alternate sites. Some of those players will enter their teams’ playoff bubbles or join the fall instructional league. That’s among the reasons there will not be an AFL season this year, per Norris, who adds that MLB had concerns over whether the AFL’s usual sites would have been equipped to handle all of the players, coaches and staff members on each team during a pandemic.
For now, the hope is that the coronavirus will not prevent the 2021 AFL season from occurring. The league’s planning on a normal year then with six teams of 35 players apiece, according to Norris.