MLB had a virtual meeting on August 27 with Minor League Baseball (MiLB), and it formally presented to its baseball cousin’s negotiation commission a proposal that would encompass a new Minor League system for the 2021 championship and even beyond.

MLB proposes having a brief tournament with the Minor League Baseball (MiLB), known as the Baseball Cup, and the idea behind the proposal is to make the minors more dynamic.  For many, an overhaul of how MiLB operates has been a long time coming.

MLB Could Control Minor Leagues In Proposal

The meeting took place as the first formal discussion between the two parties involved since April 22.  It was held just 35 days before the actual Professional Baseball Agreement between the two leagues reaches its expiration date.  The proposal by MLB, if considered in its entirety and subsequently adopted, would turn into one of the most meaningful changes for the Minor Leagues in a period of 50 years or even more.  MLB’s offer will eventually make minor league teams into franchises governed by MLB system.

In general terms, the proposal is known as “The Baseball Cup,” which seeks to put teams from the MLB and the Minor Leagues as competitors. The details behind this proposal have already been discussed, so it is easier to know how this is going to be implemented.  In fact, there is a new potentially extraordinary addition to the proposal that could most likely trigger fans’ interest and raise some inquiries about its possibility, as well.  MLB brought up the idea of leading a single-elimination tournament in which the 30 MLB teams, as well as all 120 MiLB teams, would battle for a title during MLB’s regular season.

A New Baseball Competition Possible

However, the layout of the tournament must be carefully organized because this includes all the teams of both leagues.  In the end, the strategy might bring unfair results.  According to the plan, for example, the New York Yankees could go to Eastlake, Ohio, to compete against the Cass A Lake County Captains.  Then, let’s imagine Asa Lacy being in charge of one of the Royals’ farm teams trying to win against the LA Dodgers.

This idea is not new and was considered based on the model of European soccer competitions.  Lower-class categories clubs are allowed to compete with high-level clubs in annual tournaments. For example, England’s FA Cup permits soccer teams from ten categories of English soccer to compete for a title.  In this case, the FA Cup goes alongside the Premier League season.  This model gives lower-level teams opportunities to develop more their playing skills.  However, the obstacles for this tournament to take place are too many.  Let’s see some of them.

Players And Teams Have To Approve

For this competition in the proposal to happen, approval of the MLB Players Association as well as Minor League teams would be needed.  Having another tournament like this one during the season, even an elimination one, would require finding extra dates into a season that is already booked. Even if MLB teams pass to the second round of the tournament, five dates during the league schedule would need to be available to define a champion.  Based on the fact that the country is facing a health crisis, the time is shorter now for having teams get involved in more games.

Another issue to face is when players get injured. MLB teams are adamant about not allowing their players to take part in the World Baseball Classic.  The MLB wants to avoid players getting injured at all costs.  However, the Baseball Cup was only mentioned as an example of the shared cooperation that should prevail between MLB and Minor Leagues and which could be possible in a proposed system governed by MLB.  There’s still a lot of work to be done before any plan is put into place.