Dozens of Minor League Baseball teams are in jeopardy of losing their Major League Baseball affiliation in the coming years, but they appear to have Congress on their side.
Lori Trahan of Massachusetts and David McKinley of West Virginia have sent a letter endorsed by 104 other members of the United States House of Representatives to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to make their “firm opposition” to the league’s proposed reorganization of the minor league system.
Under the proposal, 42 teams, including the Boston Red Sox’s Class-A affiliate Lowell Spinners, would lose their MLB affiliation. And that does not sit well with Trahan, a Lowell native, and other representatives around the country.
“The abandonment of Minor League clubs by Major League Baseball would devastate our communities, their bond purchasers, and other stakeholders affected by the potential loss of these clubs,” the letter reads, according to a statement released Tuesday by Trahan’s office. “We want you to fully understand the impact this could have not only on the communities we represent, but also on the long-term support that Congress has always afforded our national pastime on a wide variety of legislative initiatives.”
Trahan also addressed how the move could impact the Lowell area in particular.
“The Lowell Spinners and other minor league teams across the United States provide critical economic and cultural benefits to the communities they call home,” she said in the statement “I was alarmed by news that the MLB is considering a reorganization that will wipe out the Spinners and 41 other minor league teams across the country. The Spinners bring enormous pride and joy to the Greater Lowell Community and the City has invested heavily in LeLacheur Park and surrounding infrastructure, providing an affordable, fun night out for families in the region.”
Implementation of MLB’s plan could occur after its current agreement with the MiLB expires in 2020.