How 'taxi squad' term originated, what it means for 2020 MLB season

Jessica Kleinschmidt
NBC Sports BayArea

We hear the term "taxi squad" every year around baseball time however, with the 60-game season being implemented, it appears will be said a bit more than usual in 2020.

This MLB season, it'll be a bit different -- just like everything else due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For the 2020 season, each team will get a three-player taxi squad for road trips. This will help give the teams quick options should a player get injured or test positive for COVID-19. Those players are from the original 60-player pool implemented by each team. 

The main reason to have this squad is to avoid the situation of putting a player on a commercial flight when needed.

The taxi squad must have at least one catcher. The other two players could be pitchers or position players. These guys will be working out with the team on the road, and the catcher will also be able to serve as the bullpen catcher.

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That's how it'll go down this upcoming season, but how did the term "taxi squad" come to be?

The term actually was coined by the Cleveland Browns in the 1940s. 

Coach Paul Brown invented it when he wanted to keep a group of promising players who didn't make the roster. He didn't want to get rid of them completely, so owner Arthur McBride put them on the payroll of the taxi company that he owned. Alas, the term "taxi squad" was born and would ultimately be adopted by the NFL. 

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Essentially, it's become a group of players that are signed by a team, but not on the roster. 

It's especially important for football since, unlike baseball, there isn't a minor league system. The NFL has adopted the "Practice Squad" from this concept, and now that we know there isn't a Minor League Baseball season, it will be much more prevalent in MLB this season.

How 'taxi squad' term originated, what it means for 2020 MLB season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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