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Miracle & Twins Extend Agreement Thru 2022

Posted by SD Buhr , 16 September 2018 · 262 views

With the closing of the minor league baseball season on the field, we open up the biennial minor league affiliation-swap season and, to nobody's surprise, the Twins have extended their affiliation with the Class High A Fort Myers Miracle.

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Teams are allowed to sign agreements for either two or four years and the Twins/Miracle extension will run through the 2022 season.

With the current governing agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball (aka MiLB) scheduled to run only through 2020, not many affiliation agreements between MLB teams and their minor league partners have been renewed beyond 2020.

The Twins and Mriacle, however, have become the tenth partnership to be renewed through 2022.

The others are Salt Lake City (LAA-AAA), Tacoma (SEA-AAA), Altoona (PIT-AA), Mobile (LAA-AA), Trenton (NYY-AA), West Michigan (DET-A), Wisconsin (MIL-A), Eugene (CHC-Short A) and Vancouver (TOR-Short A).

Of course, there are also about 40 minor league teams that are now owned in whole or in part by their MLB parents, so those agreements are virtually locked in place in perpetuity, though those teams can (and sometimes do) change cities. For example, the Twins own their Rookie level club in Elizabethton, but that doesn't mean they couldn't elect to move that club's operation to another city.

The Twins are signed with their AAA affiliate in Rochester and their A affiliate in Cedar Rapids through 2020, but their AA agreement with the Chattanooga Lookouts expired with the end of the 2018 season.

The Twins have been in Chattanooga only four years, but the facilities there are widely known not to measure up to most newer modern AA level sites. The fact that the Twins and Lookouts did not sign an extension before the season came to a close indicates that one or both parties was interested in exploring other options.

If the Twins do want to look for a new host for their AA level club, their options are apparently limited.

The website BallparkDigest.com does a great job of keeping up with affiliate agreements and hosts a very helpful page where they keep tabls on the status of all MLB/MiLB affiliations. According to the Ballpark Digest list, only four other AA affiliation agreements have expired in 2018.

Those cities (and current MLB affiiliate) are Midland TX (OAK), Pensacola FL (CIN), Amarillo TX (SD) (moving from San Antonio) and Knoxville TN (CHC).

2020 could potentially see an avalanche of affiliation agreements expiring, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Twins and Chattanooga decide to sign a two-year extension, but it certainly wouldn't be a shock to see the Twins announce a move to one of the other four locations, either.

Unrelated to anything having to do directly with the Twins is the interesting way that some minor league relocations are affecting the landscape.

Colorado Springs has been a long-time member of the AAA Pacific Coast League, but their ownership is moving the club to San Antonio, which had previously been home to a AA Texas League club.

The former AA San Antonio team is moving to Amarillo, where they will open a new $45+ million ballpark, which I have to believe the Twins (and others) would love to call home.

Colorado Springs, meanwhile, will have to settle for hosting a Rookie level short season club, relocating there from Helena MT.

(This article was originally posted at Knuckleballsblog.com)

  • mikelink45 and nclahammer like this



The Amarillo park must be REALLY nice... as it's not exactly a Texas "destination" city- unless you're a cattle man or an oil wildcatter.

 

The Amarillo park must be REALLY nice... as it's not exactly a Texas "destination" city- unless you're a cattle man or an oil wildcatter.

Compared to Midland, Amarillo is downright urbane. Either way, there'd be a lot of very long bus rides from either of those places. If I'm Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, I'm lobbying for Tennessee or Pensacola.

    • pbrezeasap likes this
Maybe the Twins want their players to see the buried Cadillacs out there in Amarillo.
    • SD Buhr likes this
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nowheresville
Sep 17 2018 04:29 PM

I've been waiting to see some news about Chattanooga. The only thing I've been able to find is basically a quote from the Lookout's that implied they reached out to the Twins but didn't have a deal.

 

I've got to think the Twins might be trying to move to Pensacola, that has a relatively new ballpark, and will stay in Chattanooga if they can't make a deal there.

 

I'd be fairly shocked if the Padres and A's leave the Texas League, especially with the Padres already having their AAA team in El Paso and the A's just moving their AAA team to Vegas.

We could hear something on the Twins' AA affiliation any day. Last I looked into the governing rule, organizations had to formally file their intent to investigate new affiliation options by September 11 and notices were distributed to all affected MLB and MiLB organizations by September 15. 

 

Then negotiations/agreements could formally take place from September 16-30. That's the period in which we typically hear of new affiliation agreements taking place and we are starting to see that this year, too. For example, the A's just announced they would be affiliating with Las Vegas for their AAA needs.

 

 

 

Compared to Midland, Amarillo is downright urbane. Either way, there'd be a lot of very long bus rides from either of those places. If I'm Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, I'm lobbying for Tennessee or Pensacola.

 

I've lived in Amarillo for a while now and been to Midland/Odessa a handful of times. Given the choice, I would prefer to live in Amarillo by a wide margin. The Midland area is kind of dirty and somehow even flatter, windier, and more barren than Amarillo. The Midland ballpark is nice, but I'm sure the new one here in Amarillo will be even nicer.

 

It would be cool if the Twins ended up here to get to watch the prospects, but I kind of like being only one of a couple Twins fans in the area. I don't know how I'd feel if a bunch of other Twins fans started sprouting up here.

 

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nowheresville
Sep 18 2018 02:16 PM

It didn't take long for the AAA dance to wrap up. The Brewers stayed with San Antonio (moved from CO Springs), Texas is now joined with Nashville, presumably Houston will head to Round Rock as expected, leaving Washington stuck out in Fresno.

 

AA is on the clock!