clearn.png
Tuesday March 2nd, 2021 6:15AM

Minor leagues switch to 6-game series, common off day

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball’s minor leagues will shift to regionalized six-game series with a common off day in an effort that cuts scheduled travel mileage by 28-56% and reduces expenses in their first season of operations under Major League Baseball.

MLB reduced affiliated farm teams to 120 from 160 in the first season after the end of the Professional Baseball Agreement between Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which governed the minors. The PBA had existed since 1901 but was allowed to expire at the end of 2020 as MLB took over running the minors.

Triple-A teams are scheduled for 142 games each starting April 6 in the Triple-A East League and April 8 in Triple-A West, as the new leagues are called for now. However, opening day is likely to be pushed back to May 4 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. That would match opening day at Double-A and Class A, where teams are scheduled for 120 games apiece.

Prospects from Triple-A are likely to spend April at alternate training camps, used for minor leaguers to stay in shape when the entire 2020 minor league season was wiped out because of the pandemic. Double-A and below would remain at extended spring training.

Each league will be off every Monday, except for Triple-A West, which will be off each Wednesday. The different off day was requested by owners in that league because purchasing plane tickets was cheaper for those teams for Wednesday travel than for Sunday night or Monday.

Teams in the six-team Northeast Division of the Triple-A East league — Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Syracuse and Worcester — will play entirely within their division, for an additional travel savings.

Triple-A East teams will average 6,808 miles, down from 11,579 for the International League in 2019. Triple-A West teams will average 14,609, down from 20,081 for the Pacific Coast League.

At Double-A, the average dropped to 4,549 in the East, 3,925 in the South and 5,233 in the Central from 8,953 in the Eastern League, 7,635 in the Southern League and 11,328 in the Texas League.

At High A, the average will be 3,672 in the East, 4,671 in the West and 3,544 in the Central, down from 4,005 in the Florida State League, 5,386 in the California League and 6,859 in the Carolina League.

At Low A, the average will be 2,962 in the East, 1,731 in the Southeast and 2,356 in the West, down from 7,533 in the Midwest League and 10,011 in the South Atlantic League.

Minor league seasons are scheduled to end Sept. 19, except for in the Triple-A West, where they end Sept. 21. Minor league seasons traditionally ended on Labor Day weekend, but the later conclusion to the regular season provides a place for major league clubs to send players on optional assignments until close to the end of the big league regular season on Oct. 3.

The only minor league All-Star Game this year will be at Triple-A. There has not been a decision on whether to have postseasons, and they may not be held this year due to the pandemic.

While players with major league contracts started reporting Wednesday, most players with minor league deals won’t report until April 1.

An expanded active roster limit will be set at 28 at Triple-A and Double-A and 30 at Class A, up from 25 throughout the minors in 2019.

There are three new affiliates: the St. Paul Saints at Triple-A for Minnesota, the Sugar Land Skeeters at Triple-A for Houston, and the Somerset Patriots at Double-A for the New York Yankees.

Six new ballparks include: ABC Supply Stadium in Beloit, Wisconsin; Fredericksburg Ballpark in Fredericksburg, Virginia; Atrium Health Ballpark in Kannapolis, North Carolina; Toyota Field in Madison, Alabama; Riverfront Stadium in Wichita, Kansas; and Polar Park in Worcester, Massachusetts.

A new limit caps domestic-based minor leaguers at 190 per organization, which drops to 180 on minor league opening day. In addition to the four affiliates with player development licenses, each team has a fifth farm team of rookie-level players at its spring training complex.

Salaries for players with minor league contracts are rising 38% to 72%. The weekly minimum rises from $290 to $400 at rookie level, $290 to $500 at Class A, $350 to $600 at Double-A, and $502 to $700 at Triple-A. For players on 40-man rosters on optional or outright assignment to the minors, the minimum is covered by the Major League Baseball Players Association collective bargaining agreement and rises from $46,000 to $46,600 for a player signing his first major league contract. For a player signing a second or later major league contract, the minimum increases from $91,800 to $93,000.

The New York-Penn League, which started in 1939, was eliminated and the Pioneer League, founded the same year, lost its affiliated status and became an independent partner league. The Appalachian League was converted to a college summer circuit for rising freshmen and sophomores.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Business, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Minor leagues switch to 6-game series, common off day
Baseball’s minor leagues will shift to regionalized six-game series with a common off day in an effort that cuts scheduled travel mileage by 28-56% and reduces expenses in their first season of operations under Major League Baseball
12:18PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Planned Parenthood sues to block South Carolina abortion ban
A bill banning most abortions in South Carolina is heading to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster's desk
12:07PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Texas power outages below 500,000 but water crisis persists
Power has been restored to more Texans, with fewer than half a million homes still without electricity
12:02PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: ACC basketball tournaments not selling tickets
The Atlantic Coast Conference says the league won’t make public tickets available for fans to attend its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments
11:39AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Blue Jays expect to play in Florida, Buffalo and Toronto
The Blue Jays expect to split the home portion of this year’s regular-schedule among their spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, their Triple-A ballpark in Buffalo, New York, and the Rogers Center in Toronto
11:09AM ( 1 hour ago )
Gut-Behrami wins again, edges Shiffrin in giant slalom
Lara Gut-Behrami edged Mikaela Shiffrin for gold in the giant slalom at the skiing world championships
11:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
AP sources: Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres agree on 14-year deal
Fernando Tatis Jr. has agreed to a $340 million, 14-year deal that will keep the electrifying shortstop with the San Diego Padres until he’s 35 years old, according to two people familiar with the situation
11:26PM ( 12 hours ago )
Tim Tebow retires from baseball after five years with Mets
Tim Tebow is retiring from baseball after five years as a minor leaguer with the New York Mets
8:04PM ( 16 hours ago )
Players return to COVID protocols as spring training opens
Pitchers and catchers around baseball reported to spring training Wednesday appreciating what’s at stake as they try to follow COVID-19 protocols make sure the season runs with minimal interruptions
6:57PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
2 Belarusian journalists sent to prison for covering protest
Two journalists in Belarus have been convicted of violating public order and sentenced to two years in prison for covering a protest against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko
11:48AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Even without listening, US lives in Limbaugh’s media world
Rush Limbaugh was more than just a radio host
11:40AM ( 41 minutes ago )
January home construction falls 6%; signs of rebound ahead
U.S. home construction fell 6% in January but applications for building permits rose sharply
11:29AM ( 52 minutes ago )
AP Business
Deaths highlight once-in-a-decade Rockies avalanche danger
The deaths of two Colorado men caught in backcountry avalanches and a third in Montana over the frigid Presidents Day weekend underscore the winter dangers in the Rocky Mountain wilderness
5:27PM ( 2 days ago )
Spring training '21: New year, but COVID-19 protocols remain
Against the backdrop of a still raging coronavirus pandemic, pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training this week, the first step in a 2021 season that will take many of the complexities from 2020′s 60-game sprint and stretch them over an additional four months
10:27PM ( 3 days ago )
Good dogs! 20 years of covering Westminster Kennel Club show
To every sport, there’s a season, a spot on the calendar that fans mark for the big event
11:49AM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Call it a career: MLB ump Winters opted out in '20, now done
Longtime Major League Baseball umpire Mike Winters is calling it a career
3:13AM ( 1 week ago )
Mets trade LHP Steven Matz to Blue Jays for 3 young arms
In a deal between two of baseball’s busiest teams this winter, the New York Mets have traded left-hander Steven Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays for three young pitchers
1:22AM ( 3 weeks ago )
Baseball gathers behind home plate to honor Hammerin' Hank
Emotions ran high today as baseball came together at Truist Park to honor the life and legacy of Hank Aaron
7:33PM ( 3 weeks ago )
AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
Planned Parenthood sues to block South Carolina abortion ban
A bill banning most abortions in South Carolina is heading to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster's desk
12:07PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Texas power outages below 500,000 but water crisis persists
Power has been restored to more Texans, with fewer than half a million homes still without electricity
12:02PM ( 19 minutes ago )
'Horrible': Witnesses recall massacre in Ethiopian holy city
Bodies with gunshot wounds lay in the streets for days in Ethiopia’s holiest city
12:00PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Osaka eyes 4th Slam title in Australian Open final vs Brady
Naomi Osaka will be seeking her fourth Grand Slam title when she faces first-time major finalist Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final
11:55AM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: Officials in Italy cancel coronavirus conference
Officials in Italy have canceled a conference planned to commemorate the anniversary of the country's coronavirus outbreak
11:51AM ( 30 minutes ago )