With the coronavirus pandemic threatening to wipe out the entire 2020 baseball season, Major League organizations have begun scrambling to lessen the financial impact by cutting costs wherever they can.
Among the most drastic measures has been a reduction in the number of minor leaguers on their respective payrolls.
It's a purge that has led to several hundred players being released over the past few weeks -- including two former NC State stars.
First baseman Preston Palmeiro and pitcher Will Gilbert, both of whom were taken in the 2016 draft, are among the professional casualties.
Palmeiro is the son of former Major League slugger Rafael Palmeiro. He is best remembered by Wolfpack fans for his walkoff 12th-inning "Little League home run" to beat Miami in the 2015 ACC tournament -- a play in which he frantically circled the bases on a double and two errors.
A seventh round pick of the Baltimore Orioles, Palmeiro advanced as high as high as the Double-A level, hitting .237 with five homers and 42 RBI for the Bowie Baysox of the Eastern League in 2019. Over his four-year professional career, he posted a .249 average with 35 home runs and 201 RBI in four professional season.
Gilbert was an eighth round pick of the Oakland Athletics.
He was 14-8 with a 3.64 earned run average and two saves, 179 strikeouts in 103 appearances over four seasons, including the past two with the Stockton Ports of the Advanced Class A California League.
The left-handed reliever was 5-1 with a 4.30 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings last year.
Among the former State players still under contract, though currently in limbo, include 2019 draft picks Will Wilson (Giants), Evan Edwards (Marlins), Jason Parker (Reds), Andrew Blake (Angels), Alec Barger (Braves) and Michael Beinlien (Tigers).