Minor League Baseball's 2020 season has been canceled, the league announced Tuesday.
The announcement came after MLB informed its affiliated MiLB teams that it would not be providing players in 2020.
"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball," said MiLB president and CEO Pat O'Conner. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."
The long-awaited news came as no surprise after people across the industry anticipated the season would not take place. The Athletic's Evan Drellich first reported Monday that the decision was expected to be announced following MiLB's board of trustees meeting Tuesday.
MLB finally found a way to hold a shortened 60-game regular season amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the minor leagues were not so lucky. While major league teams have the resources to ensure the safety of players and personnel, many minor league clubs do not. A lack of broadcasting deals for minor league teams further makes it difficult for them to bring in enough revenue without fans attending games.
Some minor league teams have been getting creative to make money during the sports shut down. The Blue Wahoos, a Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, listed their stadium in Pensacola, Fla., on Airbnb for guests to rent. Many other clubs have offered meal deals or special dining options like the Augusta GreenJackets' Father's Day Brunch and BBQ at SRP Park.
MLB teams submitted the rosters for their 60-man player pool this week, and many included their elite prospects to keep them active. The start of MLB's season will provide spots for some minor league players with their big league clubs after summer training camp opens this week. Others could be placed on taxi squads once the season starts July 23. However, most minor league players across the country will lose a key season of development.