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One-on-One: Should the MLB restructure its minor league system?

No, it should stay the same

BY COLE BREDAHL

The proposed cutting of 42 minor league baseball teams should not become a reality as it is detrimental to the development of young players and takes baseball away from small communities.

Of the 42 clubs on the chopping block, 28 of them are either Rookie Advanced or Class A Short Season. These lower levels of play are essential for the development of young players coming out of the draft or international signing.

The eliminated teams would result in a system of just Triple-A, Double-A, Advanced Class-A and Single-A. With fewer teams, there will be at least 25 fewer roster spots and opportunities for players drafted from college.

Although the level of play is lower in these leagues, there have still been great players developed through the process. Players that have played in Class A Short Season include hall of famers Wade Boggs and Randy Johnson as well as current stars Noah Syndergaard, Buster Posey and Marcus Stroman.

Also, these teams are typically in small towns as the only professional team in the area. For children in these small towns, the minor league players are superstars. They grow up wanting to play for the minor league team in their town and looking up to them.

Without these teams, some young children will not have competitive baseball to watch within hours of their homes.

I understand it is a financial decision and these teams struggle with attendance. Also, it makes sense for the MLB to want to restructure to a more sensible system. However, these low-level teams help develop the future stars of tomorrow and have strong community support.

Yes, it should it’s for the best

BY JOSH SCHWAM

Every year, thousands of baseball players follow their dream’s of playing professional baseball and begin their professional journey in the minor leagues. They often work below the poverty line, traversing the country on a bus for four months a year with the odds against anyone on their team will play in the major leagues.

Sure, there are players who rise from the bottom of the minor leagues to the top, but the odds certainly are not in the average player’s favor.

Major League Baseball has recently announced plans to rearrange the minor leagues and eliminate 42 affiliates. The MLB has several motives for this effort, all of which look out for the well-being of players and individual teams in the league.

While there are some financial and functional benefits to eliminating obscure, lesser-known minor league franchises, the real benefit is for the hundreds of players every year who would be working for chump change, traveling the country for a dream clearly won’t come to fruition.

In addition, the MLB will be able to pour more resources into the franchises that are operational, as well as make them in more desirable and functional locations for specific franchises. This will create a better product on the field.

Granted, it is hard to see as someone looking to break into the sports media industry through minor league baseball. Each franchise employs a minimum of several dozen front office employees, staff and arena vendors. Then, there are local beat writers, reporters and team content creators and, of course, the 25 players and coaching staff would all be out of a job.

The last thing society needs is to cut jobs further. However, MLB is in a position where they can streamline their operations and create better environments and opportunities for their players. This will create less hassle for everyone involved with minor league baseball. Unfortunately, MLB cutting 42 minor league franchises makes a lot of sense for them.

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