SEATTLE - Major League Baseball is proposing to put some minor league teams on the chopping block as part of a plan to revamp. This has several cities, including some here in the Pacific Northwest, wondering how this could impact them economically.
Under the proposal, MLB would sever ties with a total of 42 minor league teams.
There are two teams in the Pacific Northwest that are affected, the Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, Wash. and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in Oregon. The Dust Devils are a Single-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres. The Volcanoes are a Single-A affiliate for the San Francisco Giants.
In terms of any Mariners connections, their Single-A team, the West Virginia Power is proposed to be eliminated as well.
The Tacoma Rainiers and Everett AquaSox were not mentioned in the proposal.
Reportedly, the purpose of the move for MLB is to make minor league facilities and player compensation better. The plan calls for limiting the affiliates for each Major League team to five.
The proposal, which was first brought up in March, would also reportedly shrink the major league draft from 40 rounds to 20.
Former Major League Baseball player Daniel Robertson said this could hurt the game for generations.
"If anybody misses out, it's the fans. So the fans have to be the ones that are wondering what's going on here, because now you miss out on seeing good baseball players. You might see really talented baseball players, but you're not going to see the gritty, the hungry, the passionate, the energetic players. You're going to miss those guys," he said.
It's even gotten the attention of lawmakers in Capitol Hill. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he intends to fight to save the teams.
Lawmakers have also established a Save Minor League Baseball Task Force which said they will monitor negotiations closely.
"I encourage Major League Baseball to sit down with these clubs work with them to address any concerns ," said Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY).
The current professional baseball agreement is set to expire in September of next year.