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Twins drop Rochester as AAA affiliate, Pensacola also may be gone


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Rochester makes a ton of sense for the Yankees anyways, since it seems like that's Yankee's country... maybe the Mets as well... 

 

I think personally I'm more sad that the number of minor league teams is dropping. I'm not sure that this is a good thing for the product on the field. 

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Rochester makes a ton of sense for the Yankees anyways, since it seems like that's Yankee's country... maybe the Mets as well... 

 

The Yankees have already announced they are staying in Scranton/WB. I think the Yankees own a piece of that team, and they did a major rebuild of the ballpark a couple years ago.

 

The Mets own the AAA team in Syracuse outright - they bought it after having their team stuck out in Vegas for a number of years. 

 

I'd put my money on the Nationals ending up in Rochester. They're the one east coast team that doesn't have a fairly natural fit already in place at AAA. Otherwise, maybe I could see Pittsburgh, and some kind of swap where the Nationals end up in Nashville, and the Brewers end up in Indianapolis, but that seems like more of a long shot.

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Wichita's joining the Texas League would be alongside San Antonio also being demoted from AAA, growing the Texas League by 2 teams. The two AA teams being eliminated would both seem to come from the Southern League - with Jacksonville being promoted to AAA and then another team being contracted. Chattanooga was on the original contraction list, so that would be my guess. Wichita used to be in the Texas League, prior to it's franchise moving to NW Arkansas, so it's a pretty comfortable fit.

 

Lincoln is a non-starter from a Geography perspective, but it has nothing to do with Omaha having a team. It's just too much of an outlier to be anything other than a AAA team, because AA and below travel by bus. It's the same problem that keeps Duluth, Rochester (MN), Fargo or any other Minnesota city from joining affiliated minor league ball. 

I look at a map and I see several cities that look like much better geographic fits than Wichita: Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Beaumont, Waco, Austin, Abilene, Lubbock. I know nothing about stadiums or other local conditions in any of these places but given bus travel I would think the feasibility of any of these cities is superior to Wichita.

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Look at the geographic distribution of the three AA leagues. Wichita could maybe join the Texas league but that would happen only if one of the other franchises is eliminated, and in that unlikely event there are several cities farther south that make more sense. Lincoln is a non-starter. And even if MiLB is realigned to make Wichita available I'm sure the Royals would be all over it.

There just isn't going to be a AA team close to Minnesota. Staying in the Southern League, as close to Ft. Myers as possible, is probably the best the Twins can hope for.

Curious...why is Lincoln a non starter? Especially if the AA begins to have issues of collapsing.

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I look at a map and I see several cities that look like much better geographic fits than Wichita: Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Beaumont, Waco, Austin, Abilene, Lubbock. I know nothing about stadiums or other local conditions in any of these places but given bus travel I would think the feasibility of any of these cities is superior to Wichita.

 

Wichita already has an MILB franchise and a brand new stadium. It's also larger than any city you've listed except Austin, which already has a AAA Team, the Round Rock Express. Would any of those places fit into the Texas League footprint, sure, but fitting into the footprint isn't the only factor.

 

Curious...why is Lincoln a non starter? Especially if the AA begins to have issues of collapsing.

 

I really have no idea what you mean by "AA begins to have issues of collapsing." but Lincoln is not in the footprint of the Texas League and doesn't really work from the perspective of geography. Wichita was previously a Texas League city and would be in a division with Tulsa, Springfield MO, Springdale AR, and Little Rock. That's a range from 180 miles to 450 miles for its longest trip. Lincoln on the other hand would be almost 400 miles to its closest division rival and more than 600 miles for its longest trip, and that's just in the division. I suppose it's not impossible, but it's a major strike against it.

 

 

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Wichita already has an MILB franchise and a brand new stadium. It's also larger than any city you've listed except Austin, which already has a AAA Team, the Round Rock Express. Would any of those places fit into the Texas League footprint, sure, but fitting into the footprint isn't the only factor.

 

 

 

I really have no idea what you mean by "AA begins to have issues of collapsing." but Lincoln is not in the footprint of the Texas League and doesn't really work from the perspective of geography. Wichita was previously a Texas League city and would be in a division with Tulsa, Springfield MO, Springdale AR, and Little Rock. That's a range from 180 miles to 450 miles for its longest trip. Lincoln on the other hand would be almost 400 miles to its closest division rival and more than 600 miles for its longest trip, and that's just in the division. I suppose it's not impossible, but it's a major strike against it.

FWIW, "AA collapsing" is in reference to the American Association. Much speculation they are facing some tough roads ahead staying solvent, especially if St Paul were to leave.

 

As to Lincoln, I guess I'm just starting to rezlize AA milb just doesn't really exist in the Midwest. Bad memory or lack of effort to look at franchises and grab a map I suppose.

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What will the new revenue stream be for a minor league franchise? Does MLB control the sale of a lot of merchandise? So does the franchise really only get ticket sales and concessions, plus have to pay a fee to be a franchise? Is payroll ALL filled by the major league team. Who pays front office and field staff? Who pays taxes?

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FWIW, "AA collapsing" is in reference to the American Association. Much speculation they are facing some tough roads ahead staying solvent, especially if St Paul were to leave.

Ahh, that "AA" - makes more sense. It will be interesting to see how indy ball shakes out with all of this, on one hand 40 fewer milb cities with existing facilities and 1,000 fewer roster milb roster spots puts the potential there for growth, but the financials are always shaky. 

 

I'm also curious how the college wood-bat leagues are going to get through all of this. Obviously the Northwoods league has been growing like crazy, and you've got midwest league teams like Clinton and Burlington likely to be contracted that will be looking for a home. But if the Appy league also does become another college summer league, and you've got the NY-Penn league looking at it too, at what point does the pool of available amateur players become unsustainable. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm surprised by this, but if it does come to pass I hope it works out well.

Surely Witchita fans will be disappointed after working hard to get a AAA team only to have the rug pulled out from under them.

 

Hopefully they find some solace in the fact that out of the two higher level minor league clubs, the Twins AA affiliate almost always seems to have the better prospects and team.

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No pat on my back as I can only hope and speculate, but i did suggest this makes the most sense a week or so ago.

 

I'm sure Wichita is disappointed considering their new park and AAA hopes, but the city has been a part of AA for many years. They were an affiliate for the Royals for some time I do believe. They rest in sort of a no-man's land between multiple ML franchises in both leagues. But they ARE a midwest city. So being part of a quality organization that is also midwest has to be rewarding vs a coastal team, IMO. Works for fan identification and rooting interest that should benefit both parties.

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what league will St. Paul play in? Have not heard that there will be any changes in the I.L. In fact we don't even know yet that there will be a season. Red Wings signed on for 10 years with the Nats (a franchise that has not produced much success at AAA) But no rumors about anything these days.

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I can't recall if it was this thread or not, but I've seen people say stuff about, the best prospects not spending much time at AAA.

 

While that has historically been true (more so the last decade), let's look at three things:

1) For the Twins specifically, will that change with the new St Paul affiliation.

From both a marketability stand point as well as the standpoint of having players just down the road from the Major League club, will the Twins start to use AAA as the final stop and have that stop be longer than we've been seeing for the last decade. That doesn't necessarily mean that the timeclock to MLB has to be longer. It could just be less time at AA

2) For MLB as a whole, how will the new smaller farm systems affect this?
Will not having rookie ball push the 15 guys who have a shot at MLB into low A and will that in turn push guys who's normally be at Low A into High A... and so on? Will the smaller farm systems indirectly cause less "fodder" at AAA, that will be filled with more legit prospects?

 

3) Will this overall resetting of MiLB into more geographically sensible affiliations cause this as well.
If everyone's closest farm team is their AAA club, then why wouldn't everyone start using AAA as their final feeder into MLB? Once a few teams start to do this, will everyone jump on board?

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I'm sure you have this already as your top bookmark. But just in case if you need some help researching for your upcoming move, here you go! 

https://www.apartments.com/saint-paul-mn/ 

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I'm sure you have this already as your top bookmark. But just in case if you need some help researching for your upcoming move, here you go! 

https://www.apartments.com/saint-paul-mn/ 

Have a question, Seth, about Cedar Rapids.

 

Will the Midwest League become Hi-A? Or will the Kernels be moving to another Hi-A league? Likewise, assume the FSL will become a low-A league.

 

I saw the press release from the Twins about the 4 minor league teams. I understand there will be a rookie team or something like it based in Ft Myers. Will the GCL continue to exist with those rookie league teams playing each other? Or because the draft is gonna be a month or so later, will the young kids drafted just work-out at the complex and maybe play a few games against the Red Sox?

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Have a question, Seth, about Cedar Rapids.

 

Will the Midwest League become Hi-A? Or will the Kernels be moving to another Hi-A league? Likewise, assume the FSL will become a low-A league.

 

I saw the press release from the Twins about the 4 minor league teams. I understand there will be a rookie team or something like it based in Ft Myers. Will the GCL continue to exist with those rookie league teams playing each other? Or because the draft is gonna be a month or so later, will the young kids drafted just work-out at the complex and maybe play a few games against the Red Sox?

 

The assumption is that the Kernels and the Midwest League are now a High-A League and the Florida State League is now a Low-A league. The general thought is that the Wind Surge will be in the Texas League (as opposed to the Southern League), but that isn't finalized yet. Likewise, an assumption would be that the Saints will be in the Pacific Coast League, but it may also be in the International League. 

 

In the press conference today, Falvey said that there were still some questions remaining and that kind of information (league structure) will be announced by MLB. 

 

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I don't think there is any doubt that Wichita will be in the TX league - the southern league is 1,000 miles away, in fact I think Double-A is the only place where the leagues are pretty much set.

 

AAA will be interesting to see if they do split off the Central teams into the IL, into their own League, or keep places like Nashville, Des Moines, and probably St. Paul in the Pacific Coast League. 

 

High-A has its own geography problem. The Midwest League now has an odd number, with Clinton, Burlington, and Kane County eliminated. Meanwhile the new Midatlantic League has 5 teams all close to each other between Maryland and NYC, but no 6th team nearby. Presumably, Bowling Green or Lake County will be spun off from the Midwest into one of the eastern leagues, but that doesn't really fit well either.

 

Low-A is pretty much set, except for Fresno, who is still having a tantrum about being demoted from AAA and hasn't said if they'll take the spot in the California League. I get not being happy about the demotion, but when 20 cities have completely lost baseball, bitching about having to be in the same league as places like San Jose, Stockton, and Modesto just rings hollow to me.

 

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