It's official. The Cincinnati Reds will be moving their Advanced A-ballers from Bakersfield, CA to Daytona Beach, FL, where they'll begin play in the 2015 season as part of the Florida State League for the first time since 2009, according to the Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans.
#Reds high-A team moving from Bakersfield, Calif. to Daytona, Fla.— ctrent (@ctrent) September 18, 2014
Eh, what's 2,500 miles and three time zones?
The Daytona Beach club had operated as the Daytona Cubs for years, as the Chicago Cubs had shared a partnership with them since the 1993 season. The Cubs announced earlier this week that they'd be moving to Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League, leaving the Reds with the opportunity to return to the FSL for the first time since leaving Sarasota in 2009. That move, of course, coincided with the Reds moving their entire Spring Training operations west to Goodyear, Arizona, and it set off a series of affiliate swaps that sent them to Bakersfield via Lynchburg, VA.
Sean Kernan of the Daytona Beach News-Journal has a full article up with details, and he'll likely be a good follow as more Reds personnel weigh in on the move.
Thus endeth the 4-year run with the Bakersfield Blaze, whose ancient ballpark and 350 foot CF fence made for some interesting times and numbers for Reds' farmhands. From a selfish perspective, I'm sure the Farmer's Only crew will appreciate the more reasonable finishing times than the late games on the West Coast provided.
For more on the newfangled Florida State League and the future opponents for the baby Reds, check here.