Current developments in Minors likely will be the end for Project 421 on Curaçao

We all know by now what MLB is planning for Minor League Baseball. 42 clubs will disappear. Most of them at rookie-level and A-Short Season level. This will also have its impact on the projected baseball complex on Curaçao.

In 2015, there were plans by International Baseball Partners (IBP), MLB and the Curaçao government to build a baseball complex to host a summer league for rookie ballplayers. But after elections, a new government did not want to spend money on a ballpark as it said that there were more important matters to solve.

As the plan, named Project 421, appeared to be dead, it came to the center of the attention again in early 2019 as IBP and another Curaçao government signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). But since then, all quiet on the Western Front.

But then in November last year, MLB presented plans to eliminate 42 minor league clubs, mostly at rookie league level and A-Short Season level. MLB wants to get rid of those levels because hardly any player from that level makes it to the bigs (at least, that is what they claim). The MLB owners keep quiet about the fact that it is nothing more than a cost-cutting move.

Anyhow, the intention was to establish a Curaçao Summer League to replace the defunct Venezuelan Summer League, that went down after MLB clubs left Venezuela because of the political turmoil over there. To house that league, Project 421 was presented by IBP.  But if there will be no more rookie ball, there will no need for a complex like Project 421 anymore unless (one of) the three parties can give a different purpose to the baseball complex. If the project will be cancelled, it will save the Curaçao government a lot of money they would have invested in a ballpark that would be redundant.

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