The start of the "Affiliation Shuffle" is less than a month away. The fate of the Reds AA and High A affiliations is in doubt. Here's the current status:
The best site to track this is http://www.ballparkdigest.com/affiliates_2008.html along with Baseball America.
Louisville, Dayton and Billings are signed thru 2010
There is NO scenario that would have Lexington be a Reds affiliate.
The Lookouts didn't want to extend in 2006 but Castellini paid a visit to Lookouts owner Frank Burke and convinced him to give Reds 2 more years. Burke had been concerned about organizational chaos within the Reds and not getting an exhibition game.
Well, the organization chaos (GM's Managers, scouts) has continued and Lookouts got no exhibitions. So it was surprising in June when Burke said they would probably extend with Reds.
David Paschall a reporter with Chattanooga Times-Free Press thought the agreement would be signed when Terry Reynolds visited in early Aug. But Reynolds has come and gone, and no agreement.
Just to give you an idea of how unusual it is for Lookouts to wait this long, in 2002 they renewed in March (4 years), in 2006 it was May. So they've gone from signing early for 4 years, to later for 2 years, to waiting till last minute.
The Reds own the Sarasota team and with the departure of the Reds to Arizona it seems 99% likely the Reds will leave. For a long time it seemed like the Red Sox would move Spring Training to Sarasota, and grab the Reds High A franchise. But Sarasota looks like they are going to screw this one up too. At any rate it isn't going to happen within the next month.
The Red Sox High A team is in Lancaster (Cal League) but they wanted to go east so badly they bought a team in the Carolina League. (Salem). So at this point it would seem the Bosox will take over Salem and not go to Sarasota. But, Boston isn't going to Arizona for Spring Training no matter what, so I guess it's still a possibility for them to take over Sarasota team and either play in Sarasota or Ft Myers depending on how the Spring Training thing goes.
Obviously, if Boston wants to reacquire the Sarasota franchise, the Reds going to Salem makes a lot of sense.
Complicating matters a bit is talk of moving 2 Cal teams to the Carolina league. I don't know if that can be decided in the next month.