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Minor league contraction 'a pall hanging over' MLB Winter Meetings

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Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 09, 2019

SAN DIEGO — On Oct. 18, Major League Baseball released a proposal calling for the elimination of 42 minor league teams, including the entire Pioneer League. The story has dominated the news cycle since then, with all eyes on the annual Winter Meetings for the next big step.

Those meetings started Monday morning in San Diego. That's where Billings Mustangs owner Dave Heller is, and he says it's all anyone can talk about.

"This is the the main story at the Winter Meetings. Everything else is secondary. This is a pall that just hangs over the hotel," Heller said of the proposal.

He also said every minor league franchise owner he's spoken to is on the same side.

"Minor league baseball team owners are united like nothing I've ever seen before against this proposal," he said.

Heller and other Pioneer League owners met Monday afternoon to learn what happened at two weekend meetings between the minor league and major league negotiating teams. He says minor league baseball will offer a counter-proposal, but nothing was written as of Monday.

The Winter Meetings run through Thursday.