California Winter League and Frontier League Extend Relationship into 2021
Agreement names California Winter League “Official Winter League of the Frontier League” and provides a minimum of 28 professional contracts for 2021 CWL Players
PALM SPRINGS, CALIF – The California Winter League and the Frontier League have extended their agreement to work together to continue providing opportunities for baseball players to begin or advance their professional careers. The deal marks the 7th season that the professional Frontier League and the developmental California Winter League will be working together in an official capacity. The agreement once again stipulates that the Frontier League will sign a minimum of 28 CWL players in 2021 and take them to spring training to compete for a spot on the opening day roster. Since 2015, the only CWL players released from Frontier League teams prior to the start of spring training were release due to violations of team or league policy.
“We were eager to work with a professional baseball league in 2015 to ensure that California Winter League players had the best opportunities anywhere in the world and we are so excited that it has turned into a 7 year relationship with the Frontier League that has seen CWL players become Rookies of the Year, All-Stars, and Champions in the Frontier League,” said CWL General Manager Justin Reschke.
“The Frontier League is not only the largest professional independent league in the country, they are also the longest running entering their 28th season in 2021. Over the years, they have seen more former players go on to play MLB-affiliated baseball than any other league. Working with a professional league that focuses on player advancement and quality of play is always a priority for us and therefore it makes perfect sense for us to extend this agreement to be the Official Winter League of the Frontier League once again.” Reschke continued.
For the Frontier League, the CWL provides a hot bed of talented players who may have otherwise been overlooked. Eleven CWL players who signed with Frontier League teams have had their contracts purchased by MLB organizations. The CWL has produced nine Frontier League All-Stars and seven players who participated in the Frontier League Championship Series in 2019.
“First of all I think the CWL is a very well run league. It has a good reputation of bringing out the best people to work with the players. I think the relationship between the CWL and the Frontier League provides a good stepping stone for players. These kids will get a lot of looks from a lot of different people. These kids will have a great chance to play and a great chance to get signed,” said Dan Rohn, manager of the Lake Erie Crushers and former Major League player. Rohn has managed in the California Winter League on three occasions and signed CWL players every time he has been a part of the league.
When asked about the extension of the agreement, Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee said “We are extremely proud to be partnering with the California Winter League. They provide a great path for players to further their careers in the Frontier League.”
Deputy Commissioner Steve Tahsler added “We are excited that we will continue working closely with the California Winter League. The past six years of our relationship have proven beneficial to our teams in finding quality players and to players in proving them an opportunity for exposure as they look to begin or further their baseball careers. Being on-site for the CWL each year I can attest to the first-class operation they present. With over a dozen MLB teams scouting the CWL in person each year plus the participation from Atlantic League, American Association, and USPBL managers in addition to the Frontier League the CWL easily offers players the best opportunity to be seen by the largest number of talent evaluators in both workout and game situations”
Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league. Featuring 14 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the independent leagues. In the first six seasons since entering an agreement with the California Winter League, the Frontier League has signed 190 players directly out of the league.
The California Winter League will begin its 12th season with players reporting on January 18th, 2021. The league will feature MLB Scout days and live games over the course of its month-long season, concluding with the CWL Championship on February 14th. Players interested in playing in the CWL can register at CaliforniaWinterLeague.com and find more information on Twitter (@CalWinterLeague), Instagram (@CaliforniaWinterLeague), or Facebook.