07-21-2012, 10:57 PM #1
Is the Affiliation Dance about to begin?
The Twins have renewed their Player Development Contract with the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats, but both Rochester (AAA) and Beloit (A) are up for renewal, as well.
The time is approaching when teams declare whether they wish to investigate new affiliations and there's no shortage of speculation concerning whether the Rochester and Beloit agreements will be renewed.
Here in Cedar Rapids, where the local Class A Kernels have been affiliated with the Angels for 20 years, there's growing sentiment for a change to a closer MLB franchise.
07-21-2012, 11:15 PM #2
The twins should definitely look into this. Especially if Rochester could be nixed. Triple A close could create a larger fan base.
Having the sky sox (AAA) in Colorado springs creates creates a much deeper tie between fans a players for the Rockies org. It's amazing how many people in IA are cubs fans cause they follow the IA cubs.
07-21-2012, 11:47 PM #3
07-22-2012, 12:30 AM #4
While I could care less where Rochester ends up, I think that Beloit will stay with the Twins, as it is fairly close to the Twin Cities and has a strong Twins' fan base.
07-22-2012, 12:40 AM #5
Pohlam Feild in Beloit is far below the standards of an Independent League Team.
The Twins Should not be putting their Class A Team in a Park and Rec. dump.
I hope they wise up on this one.
07-22-2012, 12:54 AM #6
The longer things go without news of a renewal of existing agreements, the more likely it is that there will be changes. From what I've read, organizations are free to negotiate extensions any time with existing partners, but teams can't begin talking to potential new affiliates until mid September. If the Twins so much as hint that they'd be interested in another specific community before then, they risk a tampering fine of up to $500K. Likewise, if a minor league organization says anything about being interested in aligning with another specific team before the allowed date, they can be fined up to $100,000. Are there backchannel communications? I would guess it does happen, but obviously officials on both ends have to be cautious.
Teams don't have a lot of time to come to agreements once mid September rolls around, however. Any teams that haven't come to agreements with an affiliate partner by the end of September will be assigned a partner by MLB and MiLB officials in the first week of October. All existing minor league teams in affiliate leagues are guaranteed to have an affiliation.
All of this means you probably won't be hearing anything at all from executives of the Twins, any of their existing affiliates or any prospective new affiliates before September unless it's another renewal announcement.
07-22-2012, 01:20 AM #7
It would be pretty sweet if the Twins teamed up with the St. Paul Saints to have an affiliate share the new Midway Stadium. The Pohlads would probably save a bundle on airfare for all of the AAA journeymen pitchers the big league team will be cycling through the next few years if they can just take the 50 express across town.
07-22-2012, 02:58 AM #8
The South and the East is where you find the AA TEAMS. AAA Teams Fly, which allows them to be located throughout the Country.
I doubt that the Twins would put a Team here. They would be competing against themselves.
Last edited by Highabove; 07-22-2012 at 03:00 AM.
07-22-2012, 06:15 AM #9
If you would have asked me two weeks ago to rank the likelihood of the Twins switching affiliate cities, I woudl have said that New Britain was most likely to move, followed by Beloit, then Rochester and then Ft. Myers. I was actually a bit surprised the Twins are staying in New Britain.
07-22-2012, 07:26 AM #10
So far all the discussion has been about the full-season leagues. Has there been any thought given to rearranging their short-season leagues? Right now we have two rookie-level teams - Elizabethton and GCL. Would it make sense to have a short-season A team, perhaps in the New York-Penn league?
07-22-2012, 07:43 AM #11
How about Sioux Falls SD, could they support a AAA franchise?
07-22-2012, 08:05 AM #12
07-22-2012, 08:09 AM #13
07-22-2012, 08:49 AM #14
It would be nice if the Twins could convince the Pirates to swap AAA affiliates (Rochester for Indianapolis). It's a 100 miles or so closer to Rochester for them. And Indy is what, 700 miles closer for the Twins? At least it makes for an interesting road trip next summer if A- is still in Beloit. Beloit for the snappers, Chicago for Twins vs. Sux and Indianapolis for (a team not likely to be called "Indians" anymore if the Twins got the team, for two very different reasons). And back.
07-22-2012, 08:51 AM #15
I don't see much changing. A lot of hopes out there would really require some league re-alignment and geographic shifts (an Appalachian league . . . really?) of those leagues. An upper midwest league would be nice . . .
07-22-2012, 01:01 PM #16
07-22-2012, 03:16 PM #17
Duluth has a huge Twins fan base (including thousands of UMD students from the Twin Cities), and the Huskies (Northwoods League) average around 1,000 fans per game - which is ~150 more than the Snappers. They play in a 100 year old stadium that is up for a renovation that would be guaranteed if they were to be granted a Twins affiliate.
I think a low A team could thrive there. It would expand the Midwest League a bit geographically, but I have been thinking for a while that the Twins should explore it. If an independent league team can survive there, and Duluth has had independent league teams surviving in Wade Stadium for decades, a Twins should do very well. Minor league teams do not necessarily have to be a sunk cost.
07-22-2012, 04:03 PM #18
07-22-2012, 04:09 PM #19
You have to worry about climate, and other things that may compete for sales and funds. A teams are best is small towns. AA in midsized markets (think Rochester, Duluth, Mankato, Fargo locally). But you always have weather issues...everywhere. AAA teams are those that draw from a regional or state base...Las Vegas, Rochester (upstate NY), Des Moines (Iowa proper)...
07-22-2012, 04:35 PM #20
I have always been surprised that Lincoln,Nebraska doesn't have a team.
Omaha has always done pretty well, and the distance between Omaha and Lincoln is far enough where it shouldn't effect much.