According to multiple agents representing minor league players, they were informally advised Wednesday that there would not be a regular minor league season in 2020. Instead, Major League Baseball will expand rosters for a condensed big league season. There will, however, be a subsequent developmental league, training and potentially playing games out of spring training facilities.
According to two players associated with those agents, they expect to be playing baseball sooner rather than later.
“Expecting to report in the next three weeks,” one source said via text message. “We’re expecting the season to start in June.”
This news comes on the heels of the NBA opening some of their facilities. According to one agent, Major League Baseball is attempting to follow suit, using the precedent as a means and guide to opening facilities of their own.
“In this political climate starving for businesses to re-open, it was a matter of time,” one agent said. “MLB is clearly following in the footsteps of the NBA in making this happen. They plan on doing so while following social distancing guidelines.”
Players who had been advised of the news said they will be asked to return to their organization’s spring training facilities to train this summer, and some will be involved in the developmental league. It has yet to be determined which players will be involved, or how that “league” will even be constructed. There is also no word yet on whether or not teams will return to their academies in the Dominican Republic with a similar developmental plan.
As far as expanded rosters go, that idea has been communicated to agents as well, though numbers for team construction have not yet been released as all of this remains in the early planning stages.
Major League Baseball and Spring Training in general was suspended on March 12. It would appear we are drawing closer to that resuming in the near future.
Update, 4:42 PM: The headline and language of this story have been adjusted slightly to reflect that no official “message” has been distributed by the league; rather, the sources consulted in this story were informally advised that there would be no regular MiLB season in 2020 and that an alternate plan would be put in place. MLB and MiLB have not confirmed that the season is canceled, and likely would not do so until a firm plan is in place and ready to be put into action.