Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball is somewhat unique in the world of professional sports. Some would argue that college sports serve the same purpose for basketball and football, but in a truly organized hierarchy, minor league baseball stands alone. The purpose of the minor league system, of course, is player development and to prepare players for the major leagues. Most of the minor league teams are independent businesses, something many people do not realize. Minor league teams sign a letter of affiliation with a major league team, but they are independently owned; there are several exceptions like the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves.
This letter of affiliation is also known as a Player Development Contract, or a PDC, and they are signed for either a two-year-or-four-year term, and the end of which it can be renewed if both parties agree.
Today there are 19 affiliated leagues and 244 member cities within those leagues, and those leagues are all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
Minor League Baseball encompasses the following development leagues:
Triple A, Double A, Class A Advanced, Class A, Class A Short Season, Rookie Advanced, and Rookie.
Every team in every league carries a 25-man roster, so you do the math. There are a great number of baseball players currently developing their skills throughout organized baseball . . . and that doesn’t even take into account the college level, a whole different system of player development.
There is no timetable involved with how long a player must play at any level. Players have been known to make a quick jump from Double A to the Majors. Players have been known to spend a month at each of three different levels, and players have been known to languish at Triple A for a number of years.
In other words, relocation is a constant reality to a player in the baseball hierarchy and relocation assistance is always needed.
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