MLB's minor league baseball proposal could impact the GreenJackets' league

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

According to several reports -- including one from Baseball America -- the renegotiation of MLB's Professional Baseball Agreement could mean a major paradigm shift to the minor league system.

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Major League Baseball's plans for the minor league system could bring big changes to the league that serves the Augusta GreenJackets.

According to several reports -- including one from Baseball America -- the renegotiation of MLB's Professional Baseball Agreement could mean a major paradigm shift to the minor league system.

MLB's proposal, according to Baseball America, includes a plan to cut 42 minor league teams all over the country as part of broader cost-cutting measures.

But what about the GreenJackets? MLB's proposal in its current form, the report says, looks at blowing up the 14-team Class A South Atlantic League, turning it into a smaller six-team league, and creating a new Mid-Atlantic League. It remains unlikely that the GreenJackets would be part of any team cuts.

The SAL encompasses other teams like the Columbia Fireflies, the Charleston Riverdogs, and the Greenville Drive.

The GreenJackets just helped open up their new home, SRP Park, in April 2018. North Augusta obtained a $70 million loan to help build the stadium.

The move to North Augusta has also brought plenty of business to the area.

The city has a 20-year contract with the GreenJackets, and city leaders we spoke with today don't expect the team to go anywhere.

In fact, the GreenJackets say they were more profitable this year than they have been in the past, and attendance proves that.

This year, they have more than 266,000 fans at their games -- 88,000 more than in 2018 at Lake Olmstead.

We reached out to the GreenJackets GM, Brandon Greene, who said he could not comment at this time. He instead referred us to the Minor League Baseball office. We have also reached out to them.

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