Major League Baseball is set to return in July after a long standoff between the league's owners and players. Unfortunately, we won't see games played at the Minor League Baseball level.
It is not a huge surprise given the situation around the country, but the 2020 Minor League Baseball season has officially been canceled. It is the latest blow for the Minors, which are already being pared down, with a number of franchises dropping teams completely in recent months. It is a sad bit of news for many of the smaller communities who embrace the minors.
"Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season," the official announcement out of St. Petersburg, Fla. reads. "As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020."
"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," league president Pat O'Conner added. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season, and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment." The statement notes the 1901 start of the modern Minor Leagues, further driving home what a big moment this is.
The decision is not an unanticipated one. The plan to restart Major League Baseball is not airtight by any means. Bringing back hundreds of Minor League teams this summer doesn't make much sense.
According to reports, MiLB players who aren't added to their MLB teams' 60-man rosters for the league restart may be permitted to play in any independent leagues that happen to restart this year, until their contracts are reinstated. Of course, the status of those leagues are as up in the air as any other right now.
There's already been a ton of damage to Minor League Baseball this year, both due to the pandemic and financial considerations by the MLB's owners. Hopefully things bounce back for 2021.