MLB News: Minor League Baseball agrees to 40 team contraction

William Parlee
Mar 3, 2018; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Tzu-Wei Lin (5) beats the throw to New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) during the sixth inning of a Spring Training baseball game at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from J.J. Cooper of Baseball America, MLB is expected to agree to a 25-percent reduction of the number of affiliated teams, from 160 down to 120.  The plan would eliminate short-season and rookie leagues across the country.  It is the same contraction that was suggested last year.

The overhaul of the minor league system would have the short-season, and Rookie games played at spring training facilities.  The remaining 120 MLB teams would be reorganized into four full-season levels that are familiar to most fans: Triple-A, Double-A, High A and Low A.

The idea of the plan is to improve minor league stadiums and advance player development.  The plan would also feature a  geographic reorganization that would cut down on both the cost and time of travel.  All of this comes as MLB is shut down with no games due to the COVID-19 coronavirus that has the start of the regular season at a standstill.

The MLB plan would affect the New York Yankees minor league A affiliate short-season Staten Island Yankees, but will not eliminate the Rookie Pulaski Yankees. The team plays its home games at Calfee Park in Pulaski, Virginia.  The Staten Island Yankees play at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in the New York City borough of Staten Island.  The Staten Island Yankee short-season will apparently be played at the George M. Steinbrenner spring training facility in Tampa, Florida.

Alone with the elimination of the short-season and Rookie league team, the minor league plan will also do away four Double-A teams, four High A teams, and six Low A teams on the chopping block alongside 11 short-season teams and 17 rookie-ball teams. For the Yankees, only the Staten Island location is affected.

According to Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper, here is the MLB list of the 42 minor league teams to be contracted.