We’ve known for months that the Minor League Baseball landscape as we knew it was going to be seriously altered by the time we get to watch it on the field again. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it a point to attempt to ‘streamline’ the entire system, in the process culling certain long-established leagues and MiLB franchises.
It was made public earlier this fall that the Greeneville Reds and Billings Mustangs, rookie league affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds, would no longer keep their affiliation. But on Tuesday, we found that the Reds would be keeping their four more advanced minor league affiliates, as the team announced on Twitter.
The Reds have extended invitations to keep their minor league affiliates in Louisville (Triple-A), Chattanooga (Double-A), Dayton (High A) and Daytona (Low A). ➡️ https://t.co/FHT4wtJgHL #RedsMiLB pic.twitter.com/cIbdEUuR7M— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) December 9, 2020
JJ Cooper of Baseball America also revealed the full list of MiLB-MLB affiliations across the continent.
We have the list. Here are the 119 teams invited to be part of MLB's minor league system. ($)— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) December 9, 2020
(Explainer for why it is 119 inside the story)https://t.co/tVO9RJSX3a
Indeed, each of Louisville (AAA), Chattanooga (AA), Dayton, and Daytona will get the chance to remain with the Reds, though in an ever-confusing twist, the Dayton Dragons will bump from Class-A to Advanced-A and join the newly created midwestern Advanced-A league. In turn, Daytona will join its Florida State League friends in dropping from Advanced-A down to Class-A. That’s assuming they all accept the offers, which they are expected to do.
Not confusing at all, of course.
It’s refreshing to at least see some continuity in today’s announcement, even though it comes with communities across the continent getting official word that pro baseball as they’ve come to know it won’t be around anymore. Such is the case for the Lexington Legends, who did not pick up an invite to remain affiliated. They’d been the Class-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals for the last few years after a long run with the Houston Astros, and since I’m from there and grew up watching them, I’m particularly irked about that decision. Thanks, Fred Manrob.
There will also still be an Arizona League team run out of the Reds facility in Goodyear, Arizona, as well as a Dominican Summer League team.