The MiLB Purge Begins...

mauidano

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https://www.mlbdailydish.com/2020/5/28/21273855/mlb-teams-release-minor-league-players
Thousands of kids see their dream come to an end. It was expected with the end of the month coming up and teams having to commit to paying these kids another month.
My nephew was caught up in the purge this morning. The D-Backs released him. Heartbreaking. The game will never be the same. Teams are going to be easily eliminated now. There will be a domino effect that will be felt throughout communities across the United States.
 

santadevil

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So all of these players become free agents I assume, but I would imagine only a few will end up getting picked up by other teams, who will in turn be releasing players en masse

Sad day indeed. I'm sorry to hear about your nephew @mauidano
 

DJnVa

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https://www.mlbdailydish.com/2020/5/28/21273855/mlb-teams-release-minor-league-players
Thousands of kids see their dream come to an end. It was expected with the end of the month coming up and teams having to commit to paying these kids another month.
My nephew was caught up in the purge this morning. The D-Backs released him. Heartbreaking. The game will never be the same. Teams are going to be easily eliminated now. There will be a domino effect that will be felt throughout communities across the United States.
Condolences to your nephew.

However, there's a reason these teams had so many minor league squads. Won't they eventually come back if they served a purpose? Teams still need that feeder system, and if in summer of 2021 they gear up again, won't a lot of these players go back? There's not going to be thousands of 18 year olds to take their place.
 

jon abbey

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However, there's a reason these teams had so many minor league squads. Won't they eventually come back if they served a purpose? Teams still need that feeder system, and if in summer of 2021 they gear up again, won't a lot of these players go back? There's not going to be thousands of 18 year olds to take their place.
There are a few factors at play here, but the short answer is no, most of the players released MLB-wide now will likely not be back at any point. The factors:

1) MLB decided a year or so ago that teams had too many minor league affiliates, and they plan to eliminate maybe 1/4 of them.
2) A lot of players are released every year at the end of spring training but that didn't happen this year because everything was frozen in mid-March.
3) Since there will likely be no 2020 minor league season, might as well go ahead and start pruning the system in preparation for minor league teams being permanently eliminated (or de-affiliated, at least).

Some smart teams will likely be sifting through the carnage and picking up players they think have promise, but while I am violently pro-player and anti-owner on virtually every point, I do think it's probably true that MLB teams would be fine with one less affiliate each.
 

jon abbey

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I'm not a BA subscriber so can only see the start of this piece, but:

"In some cases, this is bad news that has been delayed. More than two-third of MLB teams did not complete their normal wave of releases in March (22 teams released five players or less and 18 released zero or one player).

Normally every team lets go of a significant number of players as minor league spring training wraps up—301 players were released in March 2019, according to MLB’s official MiLB transactions. This year only 131 MiLB players were released in the same timeframe."

 

jon abbey

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Actually this is a fantastic chance for a team like BOS to bulk up their system depth more, I'm sure Chaim and his team is keeping a close eye on who is let go.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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One has to imagine that the teams will keep all the best players and just move them around. There might be some diamonds in the rough in and amongst the released players, but there's also a reason some guys never get out of the minors or go to the next level within.
 

Sin Duda

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What is the likelihood of some of these no-longer-affiliated MiLB teams continuing as independent teams from a financial perspective? That is, what does a minor league team's income statement look like in regards to assistance from the major league club? Can they survive on their own? Do they adopt a formula similar to the Cape League? If the MLB affiliate is currently paying some or most of the salaries, then that would be big, new debit to incur. Do the host cities kick in to preserve a tradition? Do the teams get creative and serve as an outdoor concert venue during off days? And does this open up opportunities for moneyball wannabes to offer their services to these newly-independent clubs?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Some smart teams will likely be sifting through the carnage and picking up players they think have promise, but while I am violently pro-player and anti-owner on virtually every point, I do think it's probably true that MLB teams would be fine with one less affiliate each.
I think they'll be better off with 1 less team and not just for financial reasons. It will also improve the quality of play on the field at the lower levels. It's pretty clear the main reason it was done was the minimum wage lawsuit which is real shit, but I think it's a good decision for the game on field but bad for its image off field.

I don't know if many people here have seen an (A- or below) game but it's really sloppy. The gap between short season and full season play is pretty huge. I haven't had the honor of seeing a DSL game but I can only imagine.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Do you think they could get away with merging all the A leagues?
If by A leagues you mean everything below AA, not a chance. I'd go as far as saying teams could get rid of 2 of them and be fine. Like 1 DSL team and one short season team. The Redsox don't need 2 DSL teams and don't need both the GCL Sox and Lowell Spinners. They need one of each. They do need both Salem and Greenville. At least imo.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The gap between rookie ball and full season is really big. Same with A to A+ and A+ to AA. AA to AAA isn't that big a jump and sometimes feels like a paper move. Often times, players will skip over AAA completely or get like 20 games there before a call up.

DSL1 vs DSL2 is basically no gap. GCL vs NYPenn is basically no gap but GCL is usually international players and NYPenn is usually more domestic. I could see closing one of those leagues potentially having an off field impact on the players assimilation to the country but closing one of the DSL leagues wouldn't really impact anything.

They were also talking about making a pool of players that the MLB owned rather than any team. Sorta like an instructions league or something. I'm not sure how that would work outside of adding another draft. Those players would also be paid considerably less than the other minor league players who are under the control of a team. The players under the control of a team are expected to get some pretty significant (still not enough) raises.

I'll see if I can find the articles. I'm pretty sure they are somewhere on SoSH as there's a few threads dedicated to this topic.
 
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jon abbey

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I think they'll be better off with 1 less team and not just for financial reasons. It will also improve the quality of play on the field at the lower levels. It's pretty clear the main reason it was done was the minimum wage lawsuit which is real shit, but I think it's a good decision for the game on field but bad for its image off field.
Yeah, I fully agree with this.

FWIW, here is a list the Red Sox put out today, wondering if there's anyone noteworthy to you guys on here:

 

Cesar Crespo

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I'd guess I'm at least in the 90th percentile when it comes to Sox minor league knowledge on this board and the only names that stick out to me are Trenton Kemp and Marino Campana.

Trenton Kemp was a semi promising 21 year old heading into Salem and was off to a decent start in 2017. Injuries derailed him and now he's a 24 year old in Salem.

Campana was the fringiest of fringe prospects and showed some promise as a 20 year old in Greenville but struggled last year in Salem.

Alex Demcheck was pretty lights out as a MR last year but a 24 year old MR dominating A ball isn't even really noteworthy.

They basically just got rid of 1 team and there's pretty much nothing of note on that list. You can argue maybe 2-4 of them were fringe prospects at one time.


Another thing to look forward to is how the MLB goes forward with the MLB draft. They reduced it to 5 rounds this year. I doubt it will be 5 next year but I also doubt it will be anywhere close to 40. I'd guess they go for 10 but settle on 20. I'm not sure how much resistance (if any) the players union would put up to a reduced draft.
 

axx

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If by A leagues you mean everything below AA, not a chance. I'd go as far as saying teams could get rid of 2 of them and be fine. Like 1 DSL team and one short season team. The Redsox don't need 2 DSL teams and don't need both the GCL Sox and Lowell Spinners. They need one of each. They do need both Salem and Greenville. At least imo.
I was thinking having one each of DSL, Rookie and A. Too little? Maybe they could sell this as trying to encourage prospects to go to College and save College Ball from the Rona.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I was thinking having one each of DSL, Rookie and A. Too little? Maybe they could sell this as trying to encourage prospects to go to College and save College Ball from the Rona.
Yeah. I think A ball is far more important than Rookie or DSL.

A ball is full season. The other leagues aren't and are full of kids who won't even make it overseas or to full season.

I'd go as far as saying 4 full season teams > 3 full season teams + 2 short season teams.

I get what you are thinking with 1 team per league but really A+ and A are different leagues. Plus you want to cut from the bottom, not the middle or the top.

I think the minimum they could get away with is 4 full season teams but the sweet spot is 4 full season teams, 1 rookie team, 1 DSL team.
 

jon abbey

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MIN and KC both announce they don't plan to release any minor leaguers and plan to pay everyone through the end of the season/August (which is basically when the minor league season ends). I think there is a real opportunity here for organizations to differentiate themselves from the pack for a relatively low amount of money.
 

Kremlin Watcher

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Wonder what this means for the Cape League. MLB provides a portion of the league’s funding, but the bulk is provided locally through cash and in-kind donations, sponsorships, and volunteers. But the league’s overall financial health is pretty precarious, so I wonder if MLB will continue its limited financial support.

We lost this season to COVID. Would be a real shame to lose the league.
 

mauidano

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Nationals reverse course:

The Nationals are indeed now reversing course and paying their minor league players, sources tell me and
@EmilyCWaldon . Memo said "Upon further internal discussion,” the team decided to not cut salaries.
View: https://twitter.com/Britt_Ghiroli/status/1267498348895969281


Now they a) don't get to save the $110K or whatever it was going to add up to, and b) still bear the full brunt of the PR backlash. Whatever credit they get for belatedly arriving at the right answer is washed away by putting themselves in the headlines twice for the same miserly decision. It's the worst of both worlds. If I were the players, I'd still follow through and give the MiLBers the extra $100/mo.

The Nationals do a lot right and are generally an easy organization to support, but they have some weird blind spots. (Of course, all DC organizations are graded on a curve thanks to Dan Snyder.)