Minor league baseball is an essential part of the sport of baseball. However, Major League Baseball has forever changed the sport through its reorganization of the minor leagues. As part of this reorganization plan, forty-three minor league teams lost their affiliation to the major leagues. MLB has justified this plan by stating they want to improve working conditions for minor leaguers by improving stadium facilities and travel conditions. Still, losing an affiliation is a major blow to teams financially, and minor league team owners had little power to stop the reorganization plan from happening because of the imbalance of power between the two sides. This imbalance largely comes from MLB’s longstanding antitrust exemption which provides MLB immunity from potential antitrust claims and the minor leagues also fall under this exemption.

When most people hear about this situation, they naturally think suing MLB over the loss of an affiliation is the answer. While there are all sorts of legal claims, ranging from tortious interference with business to state antitrust violations, minor league team owners could bring against MLB, litigation is not the answer. This Note suggests that these minor league teams should work together with MLB to ensure that high quality baseball is still played in these areas instead of potentially alienating their relationship with MLB through litigation. Ultimately, this Note recommends that these teams should enter a Memorandum of Understanding with MLB to lay the groundwork for a binding agreement that stipulates that the teams will have the resources, provided by MLB, to survive long term without an affiliation. This type of agreement is more sustainable for the continued operation of these minor league teams than a one-time payout from a lawsuit.