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MLB considers cutting minor league teams affiliated with the Reds

Wright State Baseball Field | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State Baseball Field | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian


Jamie Penwell contributed to this story

Major League Baseball (MLB) is considering cutting 42 minor league (MiLB) teams, and Ohio could be affected.

Four teams affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds are in danger of being cut, including: the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, the Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas, the rookie-level Billings Mustangs, and the rookie-level Greeneville Reds.

The current MLB and MiLB contract expires after the 2020 season.

After the possible cuts, the MiLB would decrease from 160 to 120 teams. In one theory discussed, the cut teams would then turn into a “Dream League,” in which undrafted players could still play baseball.

Currently, most MiLB teams are independently owned and operated. After the possible cuts, these teams would be co-owned by the MLB and MiLB.

Ohio has six MiLB teams:

  • Dayton Dragons (affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds)
  • Akron RubberDucks (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians)
  • Columbus Clippers (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians)
  • Lake County Captains (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians)
  • Mahoning Valley Scrappers (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (affiliated with the Detroit Tigers)

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are the only MiLB team in Ohio in danger of being cut.

The Dayton Dragons currently hold the longest sellout streak in the country for all of professional sports and are safe from the cuts.

This doesn’t mean that they are safe from changes to their program though. According to Baseball Reference, the Cincinnati Reds path currently looks like this:

Rookie: Billings Mustangs, Greeneville Reds, AZL Reds, (foreign) DSL Reds

  • A: Dayton Dragons
  • Adv. A: Daytona Tortugas
  • AA: Chattanooga Lookouts
  • AAA: Louisville Bats
  • Pro: Cincinnati Reds

After the possible cuts, the path to becoming a Cincinnati Red would look like this:

  • Rookie: AZL Reds, (foreign) DSL Reds
  • A: Dayton Dragons
  • AAA: Louisville Bats
  • Pro: Cincinnati Reds

What does this mean?

With this change, it could be more difficult for baseball players to make it pro.

Some disagree with the plan, such as Gov. Dewine, who claim these baseball teams are very important to the economy and the fans of each community.

The proposal is still in discussion; no action is set in stone yet.