Minor League Baseball has still made no announcement about the 2020 season, though that could come as soon as later today after MiLB holds a board of trustees meeting. Even with the report of a potential decision following the meeting from Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the writing has been on the wall that there’s not going to be a minor league season for quite a while. Teams have been planning around the idea that there wasn’t likely to be one for the last 2+ months now.

JJ Cooper of Baseball America reported late on Monday evening that minor league players who are not going to be on the 60-man player roster are eligible to sign with and play for independent league baseball teams due to the fact that their current contracts are currently suspended because of the a national emergency. The only thing stopping this is that the players must get permission from their Major League team to do so.

There could be a few hiccups along the way. First would be the fact that many independent teams and leagues will not be playing any games this year, so being able to find a team to play for could be a hurdle. Second could be that just like the actual minor leagues, the pay isn’t always enough to make it work – especially if there’s not a system set up to help provide living arrangements with a “host family”.

But perhaps the biggest one is the question of “will I be ‘punished’ for taking this kind of opportunity” – one of the immediate things that popped into my mind when I saw the announcement from JJ Cooper on Monday was that I could see some organizations holding it against a player. As Emily Waldon shared from a player later in the evening, I wasn’t the only one thinking that way.

There’s also some risk involved when it comes to injuring yourself. If you get hurt while playing elsewhere how is your organization going to react? If a pitcher, for example, were to tear their UCL and require Tommy John surgery, normally that is covered by the team, as well as the rehab – but what happens if a pitcher does so while pitching for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant team? That’s a big question that hopefully won’t have to be answered, but it’s a question that every player should be asking themselves as the answer is vitally important to their future and weighing the risk/reward of such a decision is huge.

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