Last year MLB decided there would be 120 affiliated minor league teams. Before that there were 160. Some reached agreements to become leagues for college prospects. Other teams were just left scrambling. For of those teams are now bringing an anti-trust suit against MLB. The specific allegations are that MLB gave preferential treatment to teams either owned by MLB entities or by politicians. MLB has held an anti-trust exemption since 1922, and it has weathered numerous challenges. To me, though, this one seems different, especially if the minor league teams can prove their allegations.
The four teams involved are: Staten Island Yankees (guess who they were affiliated with), Norwich (Connecticut) Sea Unicorns—a Detroit farm team and Tri-City (Troy, New York) Valley Cats—a Houston affiliate, all in the short-season New York-Penn League. The Salem-Keizer (Oregon) Volcanoes was a San Francisco farm team in the short-season Northwest League.
Fun quote: “The takeover plan is nothing less than a naked, horizontal agreement to cement MLB’s dominance over all professional baseball. There is no plausible procompetitive justification for this anticompetitive agreement.”