There is reportedly a proposal under consideration by Major League Baseball that would eliminate roughly 40 minor league teams after the 2020 season, with the logic being that the elimination of those teams would lead to improvements -- including regarding ballparks -- throughout the minors.
If the proposal, first reported by Baseball America, comes to fruition, the number of minor league teams affiliated with Major League Baseball would drop from 160 to roughly 120.
One of the teams that could be impacted is the Staten Island Yankees, currently the Yankees' Short-Season A-ball affiliate, and team president Randy Levine released a statement Thursday.
"We are here at the Major League Baseball owners meetings," Levine said. "There are negotiations currently taking place between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. We have been assured today that there have been no decisions made regarding the elimination of the Staten Island Yankees. We support the Staten Island Yankees and their facility, and people should give the negotiations a chance to conclude before speculating on any outcome."
The Staten Island Yankees have been playing since 1999, first at The College of Staten Island (1999-2000) and then at Richmond County Ballpark (2001-present).
Under the proposal, many teams in the New York Penn League -- including the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets' affiliate -- could be eliminated or relocated.
According to Baseball America, the proposal would "completely reorganize" the full-season minor leagues, with the four highest levels -- Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A, reworked to make those leagues "more geographically compact."
The above could leave many teams in the lower levels of the minors -- including the entire New York Penn League -- in danger of being relocated or having their ties with major league baseball severed.