Happy Holidays to everyone, as I hope you have all enjoyed the full gamut of the season and all it entails. Although the formal holidays are behind us now, it is coming upon a very important time of year for all of us minor-leaguers.
The beginning of January brings letters of invitation to spring training for us, as well as our new contracts for the year. Some of you may not know, but most minor-leaguers are under a basic contract for six years once they are drafted, but we still have to sign (renew) each year with our parent organizations. This often goes unnoticed because we do not get into the free-agent transactions that generally fill the offseason.
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Nonetheless, the envelope that arrives every year showing the parent club’s continued interest is just as exciting, even though it may not make news. Further, that same envelope will rejuvenate some players in their training and act as a swift kick to those who have yet to start training. When you think about it, at this time of the year, spring training and the season are really just around the corner. Big-league camp and minor-league early camp will start in about one and a half months. Then, just beyond that, the season is only three months away.
The thought of spring training and the upcoming season is like looking forward to that holiday between New Year’s and Easter that everyone hopes for to have a day off. Unfortunately, most people do not actually get a day off, but lucky for me, I do.
So, next time you walk to your mailbox and open it up, think about the 700 or so minor-leaguers who are receiving spring training invitations this year and the elation that comes with it.
Seasons greetings from one minor-leaguer to you.