The Chicago White Sox and all other teams in MLB are about to see just how bad gutting minor league teams from the sport really is.
The Chicago White Sox are going to lose minor league teams in the near future, as J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reported that MLB and MiLB are expected to reach an agreement to disband 40 minor league teams from the game.
That means the overall number of minor league teams is expected to dwindle from 160 down to 120, reducing the amount of minors teams by 25%.
While this is expected to largely impact lower-level minor league affiliates such as those below High-A, this still a terrible problem to have.
This goes along with a plan to reduce the number of rounds in the MLB Draft for the 2020 and 2021 drafts. Those drafts will have between five and 10 rounds, which is an extremely drastic measure to take.
There’s no other way to put this, but that it is awful for the game.
Losing the round in which they took Buehrle in was bad enough, but now they are also eliminating the amount of teams, which coincides with less roster spots, that he could play for.
Even if someone was to somehow convince a player in his situation to not quit the game, there won’t be nearly as many opportunities to play as an undrafted free agent coming out of high school or college.
What these two decisions effectively do is make it significantly more unlikely of seeing the “star out of nowhere” scenario.
Players that aren’t deemed good enough to be drafted in the first 10 rounds in high school or college will be, effectively, kicked out of the baseball system, with little chance of making it from there.
Taking away both will ensure we rarely, if ever, see another case like that.
Of course, this decision was mostly made for the positive idea of paying minor leaguers better wages, which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong.
But, Rob Manfred’s goal of cutting minor league teams, which essentially means less players, to get there is a terrible method of doing so. It’s not even just about the players.
As someone who majored in sport management, I realize that these are a ton of entry-level job opportunities being taken away swiftly.
There will be 40 less teams that people like me are capable of applying to, meaning there will be significantly more competition to work for the other 120 minor league teams. That will impact the industry dramatically and keep many talented workers out of jobs.
The long term ramifications of these decisions together are significant and not for a good reason.
Every team in baseball, including the Chicago White Sox, is going to feel that terrible impact whether organizations want to admit it or not.
Rob Manfred hasn’t made many phenomenal decisions since becoming MLB Commissioner, but this one is arguably the worst one yet.