• Steve Potter

1/14/2021 : News and Notes


Minor League Player Development Licenses ( PDL) :


Per Baseball America PDL’s were sent on Monday to the 120 minor league teams invited to be affiliated with Major League Baseball and each club has until February 10th to sign and return them. It’s expected all 120 teams will do so.


Game schedules, league alignments and perhaps new league names won’t be announced till all clubs agree to the PDL’s. Some highlights of the agreements include time extensions for the new facility requirements to be in place ... likely allowances have been given for a couple years for each team to comply. The agreements are ten year deals ... that’s different than the prior standard of two year franchise agreements that were the norm. What’s also different is that MLB and the Commissioner’s office takes over as the executive body of Minor League Baseball ... there’s no separation as was existent in the previous structure.


One note on the schedules when they are constructed ... the number of games within the series against the same opponent will likely be extended to six games so as to reduce the amount of travel required ... meaning less frequent road trips necessitated by multiple series against opponents.


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Minor League Spring Training


It’s expected that Minor League Spring Training will be delayed and staggered. Big league camp will open first ... perhaps with the Triple A level in tandem ... TBD


After the big league camp concludes the AA level will begin training, once they conclude Single A will train and after they conclude Extended Spring Training would begin.


The concept is to limit the number of players at the complexes and their interactions due to the Covid pandemic. At present here in Florida we are averaging around 12,000 new Covid positive tests per day. Arizona’s rate is even higher.


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Big League Spring Camp start date :


While publicly it’s being stated that big league ST will begin on time with Pitchers and Catchers reporting on 2/17 ... in fact players on the 40 man rosters have been given report dates this week it’s still very uncertain that will actually happen. Most folks in baseball I’ve talked with have true doubts that there won’t be a delay.


The Players Union and MLB are still in discussions on safety and health protocols as well as rules such as the Universal DH and roster limits for both Spring Training Camps and the regular season ... until those things are settled confusion reigns.


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Gulf Coast League :

Given the expected delays and a staggered/elongated schedule in Spring Training camps it’s also speculated that there will not be a formal 2021 Gulf Coast League. What’s likely to be in place is an ongoing training camp akin to Extended Spring Training with team arranged games against local opponents coupled with Intra squad contests.


The philosophy aligns with keeping interaction at a minimum within the Complexes.


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Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️




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