Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball are negotiating their relationship for the 2021 season and beyond. During those negotiations, MLB put forward a proposal that would tie the two together more tightly than ever before.
According to J.J. Cooper of Baseball America, MLB proposed a “Baseball Cup” that would involve a combination of all MLB and MiLB teams. One hundred fifty teams would compete in a single-elimination tournament, with clubs from Class A theoretically facing MLB squads.
The idea is inspired by European soccer, where these competitions are common. It’s also similar to the NCAA Tournament minus the selection process.
For now, this is only a proposal. The logistical hurdles that would need to be overcome are massive. MLB teams and players would have to approve the concept. Scheduling of games between the MLB and MiLB seasons would also be a huge challenge.
It’s an interesting idea, however, and shows that MLB might seek closer ties to its minor-league affiliates. It could help financially, too, as some MiLB clubs have had to get creative to make money lately.