SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, June 30, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) announced its decision to officially cancel the 2020 Minor League Baseball season. As a result, hundreds of minor league players on the 160 minor league clubs will see their season come to a close before it even began.
The President and CEO of the MiLB, Pat O’Conner, stated, “These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in the decision to cancel the season. Also, Major League Baseball (MLB), which recently agreed to play a 60 game season this year, announced that MLB teams would not send their minor league players to the organizations’ minor league affiliates for this abbreviated season.
Instead, every MLB franchise will have an expanded roster. They will also have a taxi squad of 20-25 minor league players who will be separated from the major leaguers, but there to provide depth in case someone on the major league team gets injured or sick with COVID-19. The taxi squad will act as a substitute for the minor league season for the players selected. However, most teams are only putting their top prospects/young players or those closest to major league-ready on the squad, which means that those minor league players not selected have no chance of playing baseball this year.
Northern California is home to the Giants’ High A affiliate in San Jose and Triple A affiliate in Sacramento, as well as the Oakland Athletics’ High A affiliate in Stockton. These teams didn’t find the cancellation totally unexpected given that COVID-19 would prevent their main source of revenue by preventing fans from buying tickets and attending games. According to the team’s website, The Stockton Ports will reach out to fans who had purchased tickets for the 2020 season to “provide additional information”.