Major Trouble for Minor League?

Proposal would put Renegades at risk

The 2020 baseball season could be the last for the Hudson Valley Renegades under a proposal being floated by Major League Baseball to shut down as many as 40 of its minor-league teams.

The agreement between MLB and its minor leagues concludes at the end of next season. According to Baseball America magazine, one proposal under consideration would drop teams in the four Single A, short-season leagues. The Renegades, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays that has been based at Dutchess Stadium for 26 seasons, is a member of one of those leagues, the 14-team NY-Penn League.

A Renegades game at Dutchess Stadium (File photo by Michael Turton)

Renegades’ Vice President Rick Zolzer declined comment, citing the ongoing nature of the negotiations, which are still in their early stages.

MLB wants to see upgrades at many minor-league facilities and to reduce the distance between teams, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reported last month.

Dutchess Stadium underwent renovations before the 2019 season. In addition to New York and Pennsylvania, the NY-Penn League includes teams in West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland. The Renegades have won the league championship three times: in 1999, 2012 and 2017.

MLB has proposed establishing a Dream League that could potentially absorb teams lost in the consolidation but has been short on details.

The NY-Penn League is the entry level for players aspiring to make the big leagues. Players who move up from the Single A, short-season league must advance through Single A, Double A and Triple A to reach the majors.

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