Sports | December 29, 2019 11:42 am

MLB Says It’s Committed to Protecting Minor League Teams

The statement comes one day after Sen. Richard Blumenthal threatened congressional action

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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. (Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty)
MLB Photos via Getty Images

After receiving some pushback to a controversial plan that would eliminate its affiliation with 42 minor league teams, Major League Baseball issued a statement on Saturday (Dec. 28) saying it is committed to protecting those minor league organizations.

“It is not Major League Baseball’s goal to eliminate any club in these negotiations, and MLB currently has a plan for every club to continue operations with some level of support,” the statement reads. It comes just one day after Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut warned of potential congressional action if the MLB followed through with its plan to cut the minor league teams.

Blumenthal sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Friday saying that if Major League Baseball “turns its back” on clubs like the Norwich Sea Unicorns, Congress “must look at appropriate remedies, including removing Major League Baseball’s anti-trust exemption.”

Major League Baseball insists its goal is to improve pay and working conditions for minor league players. “However, minor league baseball owners have refused to bear any portion of the contemplated cost increases for improving facilities, working conditions and pay,” the MLB said in a statement. “Instead, they’ve indicated that they would prefer to simply eliminate franchises.”

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