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Reds minor league affiliates to stay in Louisville, Chattanooga, Dayton, & Daytona for 2021

There’s one small wrinkle, however.

Hunter Greene Pitches for the Dayton Dragons

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.

JJ Cooper of Baseball America also revealed the full list of MiLB-MLB affiliations across the continent.

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.