MLB fell to 120 farm teams after 40 cities were scrapped as affiliates

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NEW YORK – Jackson, Tennessee lost their Double-A baseball team for next season, one of 40 cities was dropped as a professional affiliate as Major League Baseball implemented its plan to downsize to 120 teams agricultural.
The New York-Penn League, which started in 1939, was eliminated and the Pioneer League, founded the same year, lost its affiliate status and became an independent partner league. The Appalachian League has been converted to a college summer circuit for freshmen and sophomores.

The top four affiliates from each franchise will have a team each at Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A. Additional clubs are permitted at spring training complexes and in the Dominican Republic.

Jackson had fielded a Double-A team since 1998, first as the Chicago Cubs farm team until 2006, then Seattle until 2016 and Arizona since 2017. The Amarillo Sod Poodles will move on to the Diamondbacks from San Diego and San Antonio Missions from Milwaukee to the Padres, descendant of Triple-A.

“If we have the necessary advocacy, Major League Baseball is committed to providing lasting opportunities for the Jackson Generals to maintain professional baseball,” Generals general manager Marcus Sabata said in a statement. “We will respectfully wait for more clarity and for the process to unfold as we continue to defend and invest in the City of Jackson and the State of Tennessee.

MLB ended the professional baseball deal that governed the relationship between majors and minors. The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which had governed minors since 1901, is closing and minors will be managed from the MLB New York office under the supervision of Peter Woodfork, the new senior vice president of operations and management. development of minor leagues. .

Washington abandons the Fresno Grizzlies in California as a Triple-A team in favor of Rochester, New York, which had been affiliated with Minnesota. The Twins’ Triple-A team will be the St. Paul Saints, who were an independent team.

The Saints, one of the few independent clubs to become a farm team, play at 7,000-seat CHS Field, a five-year-old baseball stadium about 11 miles east of Target Field at the other end of the city. a tram line. CHS Field served as an alternative training site in Minnesota during the pandemic-modified 2020 season.

Minnesota has moved its Double-A subsidiary from Pensacola, Florida to Wichita, Kansas.

“We have long admired the creative excellence of Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck and their team in making the Saints one of the most successful minor league brands in the United States,” said Twins president Dave St. Peter. . “We are extremely excited for Minnesota baseball fans to have the opportunity to watch their favorite Twins prospects as they wear the Saints uniform and play at beautiful CHS Field. Put simply, a Twins-Saints partnership would not only be historic, but also a wonderful boon for baseball in the Twin Cities and beyond. ”

Fresno, Calif., Will become Colorado’s Low-A team, according to the Fresno City Council. The Rockies planned to end their affiliation with Lancaster, Calif.

Major-league teams sent out 119 invitations on Wednesday, and the Rockies then became the final franchise to settle their roster when Fresno City Council approved the deal.

The Carolina League’s Frederick Keys also lost their professional status. The team, which was a subsidiary of Baltimore, will be part of the Draft League which was announced last month for the prospects ahead of the amateur draft.

The Nashville sounds of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League reunite with Milwaukee, its 2005-2014 parent club, originally from Texas. Rock Round joins the Rangers after two seasons with Houston, and the Sugar Land Skeeters join the Independent Atlantic League PCL to become Houston’s top farm team.

Jacksonville Shrimp go from Double-A to Triple-A with the Miami Marlins. The Wichita Wind Surge, which was supposed to have debuted as Miami’s Triple-A team in the pandemic-canceled 2020 season, will drop one tier to join the Twins. The team had made the Marlins’ New Orleans Triple-A baby cakes until 2019.

Binghamton, New York, who was targeted for elimination, will remain the New York Mets Double-A team.

“This result is nothing short of a home run,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democrat of New York and Senate minority leader.

The Brooklyn Cyclones move from the New York-Penn League to the new full season of the High-A Mid-Atlantic League and stay with the Mets. As part of changes announced by the Yankees last month, Staten Island’s short season is being dropped with Double-A Trenton, New Jersey, being replaced by Somerset, New Jersey. Trenton will join the Draft League.

Hudson Valley moves from the New York-Penn team in Tampa Bay to the Mid-Atlantic League team of the Yankees, while Lansing remains in the Midwest League and moves from Toronto to Oakland. The South Atlantic League’s Augusta GreenJackets move from Atlanta to San Francisco, and Asheville tourists move from Colorado to Houston.

The Florida State League and California League go from High-A to Low-A.

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