Connect with us
[adrotate banner="51"]

Sports

“Drastic restructuring” of MiLB system could impact Richmond Flying Squirrels after 2020 season

A new report circulating this morning first reported by Baseball America and later picked up by Sports Illustrated says Minor League Baseball and its league structure could be headed for “drastic” changes after the 2020 season – with unknown consequences for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, our MiLB affiliate.

Trevor Dickerson

Published

on

A new report circulating this morning first reported by Baseball America and later picked up by Sports Illustrated says Minor League Baseball and its league structure could be headed for “drastic” changes after the 2020 season – with unknown consequences for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, our MiLB affiliate.

The report claims Major League Baseball officials are looking to strip up to 42 minor league teams of their affiliate status after the current contract between the majors and minors expires after the 2020 season.

Per Sports Illustrated:

The reduction in the number of affiliates is part of a larger overhaul of the minor league system that would see many franchises reclassify between the Triple A, Double A and Class A levels with the goal of making the individual minor leagues more geographically compact in order to reduce travel time. Teams would be asked to pay a fee to move into a higher level or would be compensated financially for moving from a higher level to a lower one.

Arguably most worrisome for Squirrels fans is the disclosure that stadium quality would play into which teams would keep their current affiliations. “The teams at risk of losing their affiliation are those with facilities MLB has deemed to be sub-standard,” the report says. Could the Diamond, which has been seen as substandard and in need of major repairs or outright replacement by local officials for more than a decade, cause the Richmond Flying Squirrels to lose their status? It’s too early to say. There are no current plans to replace the stadium, although the area surrounding the Diamond will likely soon be redeveloped by VCU.

The report goes on to say that the leagues that are stripped of their affiliations wouldn’t lose baseball entirely:

Franchises stripped of their affiliation would not be left without baseball entirely, though. The plan, which also includes reducing the MLB draft from 40 rounds to as few as 20, calls for the creation of a “Dream League” for undrafted players seeking to land a contract with an MLB team. Dream League teams would be owned jointly by MLB and MiLB. Other former affiliate clubs would operate teams in an MLB-associated collegiate wood-bat league.

We’ll continue to follow this story as new details emerge and any local impacts are known.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.