(GAME DATE — Aug. 26, 2020) — The four teams set to be dissolved and removed from the Bull League have tentatively been set, allowing the remaining GMs to start scouting players in those organizations for the offseason contraction draft that will follow the playoffs.
The Norfolk Sharks, Dallas Deputies, Pittsburgh Iron Pigs, and Detroit Motorheads will be folded after the 2020 season, and their players made available to the remaining 16 teams in a modified draft that will aim to maintain the competitive balance between selected franchises.
The contraction draft will likely focus on allowing human-managed teams to improve their level of competition.
The contraction draft will mean that players like Payton Bint, Dong-kyoon Kim and Dennis Guppy from Detroit, Pittsburgh’s Diego Interiano and Nick Seer, Norfolk MVP’s Earl MacPherson and Danny Sanchez, and Dallas premiere leadoff man Kelan Dickie will all be up on the draft block and available to teams looking to plug some gaps.
No decision has yet been made on the minor league organizations and what will happen with those players, but Dallas currently has the #1 ranked minor league system after successive years of top draft choices, while Pittsburgh’s ranks a respectable #10. Detroit (#13) and Norfolk (#12) also have a selection of worthwhile minor leaguers that could bolster some franchise’s systems.
With two teams from the ML East on the chopping block, the Calgary Inferno will likely be relocated to the eastern side of the continent, possibly to Atlanta or maybe even Texas to maintain a team in that populous state.
After the contraction, the league will comprise two divisions of four teams each, for both the Metro League and the Lake League.
The schedule will remain at 162 games for 2021, and budgets will be extended by the league in order to accommodate some of the high contracts that will need to be absorbed from the dissolving teams.