One of the many trends of the 2020 MLB season has been reductions in front office and scouting positions across Major League Baseball. The Atlanta Braves have reportedly joined in laying off several top veteran pro scouts on Tuesday according to a report by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Another awful day in the #MLB scouting world: The #Atlanta Braves, who are in 1st place in the NL East, have informed several of their top veteran pro scouts today that they've been laid off, less than two weeks before the postseason.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 15, 2020
The scouting profession was already thought to be in trouble as teams turned to video analysts for more of their scouting reports. The truncated regular season and the cancellation of the minor league season have put many scouts in jeopardy as teams have been forced to truncate spending.
The question for many of these scouts going forward is how many will be brought back? We have seen the player development model and scouting shift in recent seasons. While there is a happy medium that can be achieved, this could leave a lot of veteran scouts who worked their way through the old system on the outside looking in.
UPDATE - The Braves have issued a statement in regards to their organizational restructuring
The Atlanta Braves have completed a re-organization of full-time staff, spread across all areas of the organization including our baseball, business, real estate development and minor league operations. We believe now is the right time to manage our business with greater efficiency which has been accelerated due to the significant financial impact of COVID-19. We are grateful to those affected for their time spent with the Braves and believe, although it was a difficult decision, we are now optimized to manage through this period.
ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has more on the restructuring.
The Braves are owned by publicly-traded conglomerate Liberty Media. This has been characterized as cost cutting across the board, with similar treatment across business ops, baseball ops & The Battery (stadium complex), rather than targeted in any one area. It sucks regardless.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) September 15, 2020