By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
MINOR League Baseball may be the latest casualty of the COVID-19 fallout as a reported agreement is in place with Major League Baseball to reduce the group of affiliate teams by 40.
MiLB currently fields 160 teams across its various leagues, but that number could be reduced to as much as 120 and the remaining teams could face realignment, according to the Washington Post.
“We are working towards creative solutions wherein there will be 120 full season teams,” a letter sent from MiLB sent from affiliates published by the post said.
“Most [full-season] teams will continue in their same level of play and with long-term affiliations with their current MLB partners,” the letter said.
“A few [minor league] teams will be required to move to different levels of play to accommodate the geographical needs of some MLB clubs and to recognise that the most advanced players should be playing in high-quality facilities.”
A total of 17 Bahamians are currently contracted to minor league deals. Prior to the suspension of all baseball activity, many of those players had yet to receive their assignments for the upcoming season. The minor league baseball season was officially suspended last month and the MLB pledged to offer players financial support through May as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the official communication Tuesday and also added that minor leaguers will receive $400 per week through May 31.
MLB previously announced financial support through April 8, the day before the minor league season was set to commence.
Individual clubs will create their own compensation plan to assist players assigned to the Dominican Summer League. According to the AP, the weekly minimum salaries on full-season minor league teams range from $290 at Class A to $502 at Triple-A over the five-month season, meaning many players are making more during this hiatus than they do during the season.