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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As part of MLB's desire to overhaul the minor league system and streamline player development, it wants to sever its parent-club relationship with 42 minor league teams, entirely eliminating some and reorganizing others into a lower-quality "Dream League."

Why it matters: Major league clubs currently provide and pay for the farm club's players and staff, leaving the minor league organization to cover things like fields, equipment and travel.

  • If that support disappears, it could be a death sentence for many of the teams listed above, putting cities across America at risk of losing parts of their culture and, in some cases, having their local economics shift.

The 42 teams, listed alphabetically:

  • A-C: Auburn Doubledays (N.Y.), Batavia Muckdogs (N.Y.) , Binghamton Rumble Ponies (N.Y.), Billings Mustangs (Mont.), Bluefield Blue Jays (W.Va.), Bristol Pirates (Va.), Burlington Bees (Iowa), Burlington Royals (N.C.), Chattanooga Lookouts (Tenn.), Clinton LumberKings (Iowa), Connecticut Tigers
  • D-I: Danville Braves (Va.), Daytona Tortugas (Fla.), Elizabethton Twins (Tenn.), Erie SeaWolves (Pa.), Florida Fire Frogs, Frederick Keys (Md.), Grand Junction Rockies (Colo.), Great Falls Voyagers (Mont.), Greeneville Reds (Tenn.), Hagerstown Suns (Md.), Idaho Falls Chukars
  • J-P: Jackson Generals (Tenn.), Johnson City Cardinals (Tenn.) Kingsport Mets (Tenn.), Lancaster Jethawks (Calif.), Lexington Legends (Ky.), Lowell Spinners (Mass.), Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Ohio), Missoula PaddleHeads (Mont.), Ogden Raptors (Utah), Orem Owlz (Utah), Princeton Rays (W.Va.)
  • Q-W: Quad Cities River Bandits (Iowa), Rocky Mountain Vibes (Colo.), Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Ore.), State College Spikes (Pa.), Staten Island Yankees (N.Y.), Tri-City Dust Devils (Wash.), Vermont Lake Monsters, West Virginia Power, Williamsport Crosscutters (Pa.)

This is why presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as other politicians, have come out against MLB's proposal.

  • It's got everything: Jobs, corporate greed and the blatant juxtaposition of billionaire owners trying to maximize profits while small-town baseball teams — organizations that provide their communities with an identity and a place to gather — suffer.

The other side: MLB contends that its plan is necessary to improve working conditions, and that eliminating hundreds of low-level players from the system will allow the league to increase minor league salaries across the board — an issue that was recently contended in the California Supreme Court.

  • The minor league system is old and bloated, and MLB believes it needs to be slimmed down and reorganized so that teams can focus on things like "analytics training" and spend less money and fewer resources on players with little chance of reaching the majors.

What to watch: MLB's current agreement with the minor league teams expires at the end of this upcoming campaign, which could "cast a certain pall over the 2020 season, as teams aim to, perhaps, play their way off the proverbial bubble."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Aug 3, 2020 - Sports

13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive for coronavirus

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Seven players and six staff members from the St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past week, prompting the MLB to postpone the team's upcoming four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

Why it matters: Seven consecutive Cardinals games have now been canceled after St. Louis became the second team to report a significant coronavirus outbreak, just two weeks into the season.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.