Baseball's minor leagues canceled their seasons on Tuesday after Major League Baseball decided not to provide any players to its affiliated teams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement. The Professional Baseball Agreement between the majors and the minors expires after this season, and MLB has proposed reducing the minimum affiliates from 160 to 120.
MLB already had told clubs to retain expanded 60-player pools, of which 30 players can be active during the first two weeks of the season starting in late July.
The Salt Lake Bees released a statement, saying:
While the Salt Lake Bees are disheartened for our community by the cancellation of the 2020 season, we understand today’s decision and believe public health and safety certainly take precedence during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Minor league baseball has been part of summertime in Salt Lake City for more than a century, and we will miss the opportunity to gather at Smith’s Ballpark for America’s pastime in one of baseball’s most beautiful settings. We thank our fans and partners for their continued loyalty and appreciate the players, coaches and staff for their dedication to the franchise.
“Our Triple-A affiliation with the Los Angeles Angels and membership in the Pacific Coast League have a strong legacy and we greatly anticipate future baseball seasons in Salt Lake City. In the meantime, please follow public health guidelines to fortify the safe return of sports.”
National Association president Pat O'Conner says:
"These are unprecedented times for our country ad our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without minor league baseball played. 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."