Crosscutters not worried about threat of elimination

The Williamsport Crosscutters are going about “business as usual” for the 2020 season despite being listed as one of the 42 Minor League Baseball teams Major League Baseball wants to eliminate.

MLB is looking to reduce the number of minor league teams it’s affiliated with and alter the geographical makeup of some leagues in its initial proposal to Minor League Baseball as the two sides begin their negotiations on the next Professional Baseball Agreement.

Major League Baseball’s initial proposal was leaked to Baseball America, citing the elimination of 42 teams as the starting point in its negotiations with Minor League Baseball. The New York Times published the list of the 42 teams which could be eliminated over the weekend, and the Williamsport Crosscutters were part of the proposed eliminations.

But the Cutters, who moved to Williamsport in 1994, published a statement Monday on Facebook saying, “… we do want to make it clear that nothing has or will be decided in this process for a very long time. Further to that, as MLB has stated publicly, their main concerns are around facility standards and significant distance of some clubs from their affiliates (neither of which apply to the Crosscutters) so this is just a natural process of negotiation on behalf of all 160 Minor League Baseball teams.”

The statement released by the Crosscutters on Monday is the only public comment the team has given as all 160 minor league teams around the country were instructed to refer all questions about the proposal to Minor League Baseball Senior Director of Communications Jeff Lantz. Lantz did not return phone calls from the Sun-Gazette seeking comment.

The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball is negotiated every five years. It stipulates standards minor league teams must meet for facility standards. And in turn, Major League Baseball agrees to supply minor league teams with players and to pay their salaries.

The current PBA is set to expire in September of 2020. Negotiations between the two sides have already begun and there is a plan to meet again in a couple weeks and again at baseball’s winter meetings in San Diego from Dec. 8-12. For the last 30 or so years, the agreement between the two sides has largely gone unchanged, except for minor tweaks here and there, according to Lantz.

See Tuesday’s Sun-Gazette for a full story.


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