St. Louis Cardinals News: 2021 Minor League invites sent out

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 27: St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird pays homage to artist Bob Ross by painting during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on September 27, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 27: St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird pays homage to artist Bob Ross by painting during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on September 27, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The MLB has been planning a drastic restructuring of the minor leagues and now, the St. Louis Cardinals have a good idea of who their affiliates will be.

One of the worst parts of the 2020 MLB season wasn’t anything to do with the major leagues. It was the fact that the minor leagues didn’t get the chance to have a normal season. Sure, each team got their own satellite camp to run a glorified spring training, but the lack of competition for these players will be felt for years down the line.

As a result of the year without revenue, a lot of these teams were in trouble, and the MLB used the pandemic to shrink the Minors, something they have wanted to do for some time now.

Throughout the winter, there have been rumors of what the new season would hold for the minor leauges and now, the invites have been sent out to invite the affiliates to join the league’s new structure.

For the St. Louis Cardinals, they were lucky enough to own two of their affiliates already with a stake in the other. For the Cardinal-owned Springfield and Palm Beach, they were safe from getting cut as well as Memphis, the team that the Cardinals own part of.

For the top two affiliates, nothing will change. However, former High-A Palm Beach will now be Low-A, with Peoria moving up to High-A. Sadly, all of the other short-season affiliates were cut. The Johnson City Cardinals, the State College Spikes, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals are no longer directly affiliated with the club.

As Derrick Goold mentions here, the Cardinals’ situation was more simple than other teams, but this is still a huge change for the organization. Some of the short-season and lower-level affiliates like the Spikes got picked up for MLB’s draft league, but it is sad to see things change.

This issue is far from set, as these are solely invitations, not agreed upon deals. In the coming month or more, each affiliate will be sent their Professional Development License (PDL) that they will have to look over and either try to negotiate or sign. These PDLs are the contract that decides how the pie is cut when it comes to revenues from these affiliated teams.

Because the Cardinals own two and some change of their four affiliates, this is much less complicated, but teams being affiliated with an MLB team make the value of the franchise much higher. Baseball America has done a fantastic job covering the intricacies of these deals between affiliates and teams on both their website and their most recent podcast, but these are complex things.

They explain the complexities much better than I could, but it could be an interesting month and a half here as the MLB tries to agree with all of the teams. Other teams suffered more drastic changes in their minor leagues, but no team was spared from the league-wide contraction.

Next. What would a Lynn trade have looked like for the Cardinals?. dark

The specifics of the new structure will still be ironed out surely, but it is good to have at least some clarity on what things will look like moving forward.

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