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Spring Training for Double-A and lower to be delayed

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Houston Astros v Atlanta Braves Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reported in his article Tuesday evening that the league sent teams a memo saying that spring training for the Double-A levels and below will be delayed until after MLB and Triple-A players have left from their spring training camps.

Presumably this is at least partially an effort to reduce the potential for transmission of COVID-19 at camp, especially to the players that are most likely to be contributing at the major league level. This move obviously significantly alters the schedule for these lower level teams, but it does also seem to further indicate that the league actually intends to have a minor league season this year, after there was no minor league baseball in 2020.

There have been some reports that the owners will be reluctant to start the season on time if significant attendance is not allowed at stadiums, so it is far from a guarantee that the major league spring training will start on time. Even if the major league and Triple-A spring training camps start on schedule, this would delay the Double-A and lower level spring training to late March or early April. Obviously if the major league season is delayed, then these minor league camps would start even later.