(KWQC) - The Clinton LumberKings are planning for a "great 2020 season" after a recent report released over the weekend from the New York Times that listed 42 minor league teams that could lose their affiliation. Of those teams, the Quad City River Bandits, the Clinton LumberKings and the Burlington Bees are on the list.
The proposal aims to manage costs within baseball's minor league system and improve facilities overall.
In a statement released on Thursday, officials with the Clinton LumberKings say they are hoping to defend their Midwest League Western Division title and reaching the Midwest League finals for a second straight season.
You can read the full statement below.
"Over the past several weeks, multiple news outlets have reported the story about Major League Baseball's (MLB) plan to eliminate 42 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams starting in the 2021 season. This story came from the initial proposal from MLB regarding the future of MiLB. The written agreement between MLB and MiLB is called the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA). The current PBA expires after the 2020 season.
In their proposal, MLB wants to eliminate 42 MiLB teams without any communication from MLB as to the reasons why each of those markets were selected. The communities in which these 42 clubs are located in would no longer have affordable family entertainment to rely on, no longer be able to offer jobs for their residents, no longer contribute to the overall economic well-being to their region, no longer be an essential quality of life to their area, and no longer provide other positive factors too numerous to mention. Unfortunately, three of the 42 clubs slated for elimination are located here in eastern Iowa - the Burlington Bees, Quad Cities River Bandits and our very own - Clinton LumberKings.
Negotiations between MLB and MiLB have just started and the MLB proposal is just the first step taken in these negotiations. MiLB will respond in future meetings that are planned between now and the first of the year. Those meetings will be to discuss a new PBA agreement - an agreement that includes all existing 160 MiLB clubs.
The press coverage surrounding this story is sometimes overwhelming and discouraging, but we wanted to publicly state that we are busy planning for a great 2020 season in hopes of defending our Midwest League Western Division title and reaching the Midwest League finals for a second straight season.
The upcoming 2020 season will be our 84th year of providing a great place for fans to come out and enjoy baseball here in Clinton, Iowa. We are very proud of our franchise and the 287 players who have worn a Clinton uniform on their way to the Major Leagues. We are very confident that that number will continue to grow in the years ahead.
As the ONLY remaining Charter Member left in the Midwest League - we look forward to joining our other 15 members of the Midwest League in what we know will be an outstanding 2020 season.
Thank you very much for your continued support!
The Clinton Baseball Club Management, Staff, and Board of Directors "