NEW YORK – Major League Baseball has reorganized its minor leagues in a 120-team regional alignment.
MLB released a plan Friday for two Triple-A divisions, and three divisions each for Double-A, High-A and Low-A. Forty affiliates were dropped from 2019, the last season under the old minor league system, and the remaining teams were offered the 10-year licenses in December. All 120 accepted by Wednesday’s deadline
The leagues have not yet been named. Major league owners, Commissioner Rob Manfred and his staff have not decided whether to retain the traditional names of the leagues, such as the International and Pacific Coast at Triple-A, the Eastern, Southern and Texas at Double-A and the California, Florida State and South Atlantic, which had been at Class A.
For now, MLB is calling the minor league groupings Triple-A East and West, Double-A Central, Northeast and South, High-A Central, East and West, and Low-A East, Southeast and West. There are geographic subdivisions within each league.
Triple-A teams for now remain scheduled to open 144-game schedules at the start of April but are likely to be pushed back until the start of May because of the pandemic.
Double-A teams, scheduled for 138 games each, and High-A and Low-A teams, with 132 games apiece, are for now slated to open in early May.
Top minor leaguers probably will spend April at alternate training camps, used by MLB teams to keep potential callups in shape last year, when the entire minor league schedule was canceled due to the virus.
Regular-season schedules are to be announced next week. Schedules will be regionalized and include six-game series to reduce travel and cut expenses, a person familiar with the planning told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that detail was not announced.