As minor league baseball fights against MLB’s proposal to eliminate 42 minor-league teams, MiLB now has a new ally with a resolution from several members of Congress.
Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), Max Rose (D-NY), David McKinley (R-WV) and Mike Simpson (R-ID), members of the “Save Minor League Baseball Task Force”, introduced a resolution on Tuesday for MLB to not contract any MiLB teams.
The move by the bipartisan members of Congress is a small step in the ongoing battle between MLB and MiLB over proposed plans to reduce the number of minor-league teams. MiLB recently announced a “Mayors’ Task Force to Save Minor League Baseball” to fight against the proposal.
Following another record-setting season in revenue, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and team owners have targeted a reduction of 42 minor-league teams as a means of saving money and paying minor-league athletes a living wage.
However, MLB’s plan would lead to hundreds of players losing their jobs and even more seasonal workers at MiLB stadiums being fired as well. Furthermore, it would remove further access to baseball for many communities.
It’s exactly why members of Congress are now working together by taking small steps to convince MLB not to reduce the number of MiLB teams.
“Minor League Baseball teams have had a major impact on small communities. These teams provide an enormous cultural and economic benefit to the communities they call home,” said Congressman McKinley, via press release. “The goal of our involvement in this fight is to ensure a level playing field in the negotiations between Major League Baseball and MiLB. Doing away with 42 teams is not a reasonable solution. We are hopeful that MiLB and MLB can find a compromise that will preserve the 42 MiLB teams and address MLB’s concerns.”
Negotiations between MLB and MiLB over the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), which expires following the 2020 season, have been contentious throughout the offseason. Now with Congress getting more involved and Manfred pushing back against the pressure, it appears negotiations will only become more hostile in the near future.