|04-03-2002, 11:40 AM||#1|
The Independent Minors - Post Anti-Trust
How would the minors be affected without an anti-trust exemption, and if the minors were declared free, (or would desire some freedom).
If the minors were totally free from the National Agreement, I don't think it would cause anarchy or chaos. What could happen would be a system where:
1. MLB owns some minor league clubs.
2. Each MLB team could have separate agreements to provide a certain amount of players to minor league clubs at all levels.
3. Each minor league team would be free to sign its own players in accordance to league rules.
4. Each minor league would set salary caps, veteran limits (defining vets as over 25 or over 4 years of pro experience, or something like that) depending on what level they want to compete.
5. Each MLB team would probably only control 30 to 50 players, and they would be who they consider the top prospects.
6. The other minor league teams could sell their players to major league teams or higher level minor league teams. This would eliminate the over-use of a player because it will be in the best interest of a team to make sure they are not peddling damaged goods. And the players could make decisions on where they would like to play in order to move up, or get signed by a major league team that needs help at their particular positon.
A lot of this looks like AAA baseball the way it is now, where there's only a few prospects and the rest of the guys are just waiting for catastrophe. But it would mean the teams in the minors would be trying to win, not just develop players or sell merchandise.
I have reservations about consistent coaching in this system, but if the anti-trust exemption goes, and there's a push to free up the minors, it could work without catastrophe. It worked before during the halcyon days of the minor leagues.
Mind you, I'm not a zealot for the free minors, but if it happens, it won't be death of the minors. It may be another rebirth.
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