While the bulk of the attention surrounding the fate of the 2020 baseball season has surrounded the ongoing negotiations between the league and its’ players over the financial and logistical details of a potential season, one thing that has been getting more and more press of late is the fate of the sport’s minor league players.
This offseason was filled with turmoil within the minor leagues even beyond the COVID-19 outbreak that has turned the world upside-down. The league and MiLB were, to put it kindly, at odds regarding minor league contraction as well as issues with facilities, but a lot of those disputes were put on the back burner with the pandemic threatening to wipe out any minor league baseball at all.
Flash forward to this week and we had word of teams committing, or in the case of Oakland declining, to pay minor leaguers through June. The Braves were among those teams to commit to that, although statements from some players indicated that communication regarding that decision prior to announcing it was sparse at best. That leads us to today’s news that you heard here first.
Hearing whispers that the Braves, too, cut a significant number of minor league players today or at least are in the process of doing so. The term used to describe the number of players cut was a "huge" amount, so take that for what it is worth. Still working on getting more info— Eric Cole (@leprekhan) May 28, 2020
There are a few important things to note about this. One, players have already begun to get notified of these releases but as of this writing, none wanted their names included in this report. Two, minor league roster cuts are not, in themselves, that weird in spring training and the early portions of the seasons. However, the scale of the Braves’ cuts go well beyond the usual numbers and a couple of sources said that they think as many as 50 Braves minor leaguers are getting released. Finally, we don’t have all of the information and while the Braves did not have a comment for this article, it seems likely that we can expect some clarity and specificity in the coming days.
It is clear that teams around the league are doing everything in their power to cut costs right now. Unfortunately, one does wonder about the wisdom of choosing this moment in time to make cuts that both look terrible in the public eye and also have questionable impact on team’s overall bottom line.