FSL approves sale of Sarasota Reds
Cincinnati's Class A team to be taken over by Pirates
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
11/10/09 5:57 PM EST
PITTSBURGH -- The Florida State League owners have approved Cincinnati's sale of its Class A club to the Pirates, which was the final step in the Reds' pursuit to move all of the organization's operations out of Sarasota, Fla.
With this approval from the FSL, the Pirates have assumed control of the Reds' Class A team in Sarasota and are relocating that club to Bradenton, Fla. The Reds no longer had a need for a team in Sarasota since the club has moved its Spring Training home and training facilities to Goodyear, Ariz.
For the Reds, the swap allows Cincinnati to make the Lynchburg (Va.) Hillcats its Class A Advanced club for at least the 2010 season. The Hillcats, which play in the eight-team Carolina League, approved the exchange even though the Pirates had one year remaining on their contract. If the Reds wish to keep their Class A Advanced team in Lynchburg beyond next season, a new contract would have to be negotiated during or after the season.
With the sale of their affiliate, the Reds have now officially cut all ties with Sarasota, which had served as the organization's Spring Training home since 1998. The club has already moved all of its operations out west to Goodyear.