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Thread: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    It's time for the bi-annual affilation shuffle. The Reds AAA, Low A, and Rookie League teams are extended through 2012. But the Reds AA and High A teams have not signed new agreements.

    AA -

    Only 11 teams are left. It's hard to believe Reds would be interested in going to Texas League, or that the 5 west coast teams wouldn't willingly fill up the 3 available Texas League slots.

    Apparently Carolina feels they want to let the Reds affiliation expire so they can at least explore other teams. The Reds have done a poor job of putting a competitive product there. Could they want the Marlins back? You would think the Marlins would love their affiliation in Jacksonville, which has a new ballpark, leads the Southern League in attendance yearly, and is a 5 hour drive from Miami, and a 4 hour drive from their Minor League operations. And you would think the Jax Suns would be thrilled to have a Florida team.

    But why hasn't it happened yet? Could it be that Jax would rather have Tampa's AA team? Tampa is a 3 hour drive, making them a more "local" Florida team. And if you're Tampa, Jax is much closer than Montgomery for both the home club and the Minor League Operation (Port Charlotte).

    TEAM MAJOR LEAGUE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRATION

    Eastern League
    Erie SeaWolves Tigers 2010
    Harrisburg Senators Nationals 2010
    Richmond Flying Squirrels Giants 2010

    Southern League
    Carolina Mudcats Reds 2010
    Huntsville Stars Brewers 2010
    Jacksonville Suns Marlins 2010
    Montgomery Biscuits Rays 2010
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx Mariners 2010

    Texas League
    Arkansas Travelers Angels 2010
    San Åntonio Missions Padres 2010
    Tulsa Drillers Rockies 2010

    This Minor League site
    (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...iate_renewals/)

    seems to think that Jax, Montgomery and Huntsville will stay with current clubs, that Richmond will choose between SF and Washington, Erie will stay with Tigers.

    If he is right than the AA Reds will be one of:

    Carolina
    Harrisburg
    West Tenn


    High A

    The Reds in their 1 year stint with Lynchburg have put a bad product on the field, and neither the Reds or Lynchburg chose each other, they simply had a shotgun marriage when the Pirates bought the Sarasota Reds. So I suspect Lynchburg will look around.

    Normally you would suspect that the west coast teams would fill up all the California League slots, but there is a little more intrigue than normal. One of the new owners of the Rangers owns the Myrtle Beach team, so they will probably go there.

    That means a Cal League franchise open and no West Coast team to fill it. Kansas City is the closest team and Delaware is still closer than California.

    So the least desirable team could end up stuck in Bakersfield, and you can make a case that the Reds are the least desirable team. They've been bad at High A, and their Low A team stinks.

    But the California League is in turmoil. They wanted to ship 2 teams to the Carolina League a year or so but they couldn't work it out. 1 team (High Desert) is for sale and the owner can't find a buyer, and Bakersfield's stadium no longer meets Minor League Baseball's standards.

    California League
    Bakersfield Blaze Rangers 2010
    High Desert Mavericks Mariners 2010
    Inland Empire 66ers Dodgers 2010
    Modesto Nuts Rockies 2010
    Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Angels 2010

    Carolina League
    Kinston Indians Indians 2010
    Lynchburg Hillcats Reds 2010
    Myrtle Beach Pelicans Braves 2010
    Wilmington Blue Rocks Royals 2010

    Florida State League
    None

    If you assume that all the West Coast teams except Bakersfield fill up with West Coast franchises, and that Myrtle Beach goes to Rangers, Kinston stays with Indians (longest running agreement in Carolina League), then the Braves, Royals and Reds will be fighting for Wilmington and Lynchburg. You'd have to assume a minor league owner would rather have the Braves.

    So.... Reds need to take action quickly or they become the Bakersfield Blaze, playing in a stadium that does not meet minor league standards.
    Last edited by JaxRed; 08-14-2010 at 12:27 PM.

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    how about dayton taking over in AA they have some of the best attendance in the minors.

    why is BP batting 4th

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by joe51391 View Post
    how about dayton taking over in AA they have some of the best attendance in the minors.
    Doesn't work that way. Dayton's ownership group would have to buy a AA franchise (Eastern league, most likely) and move that franchise to Dayton while simultaneously finding some other place for their Midwestern league franchise to play.

    Not likely.
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    JaxRed,

    This is an excellent thread and one that you have obviously researched well. This exact topic has been on my brain for weeks now. I posted a while back that I had emailed the Lynchburg GM inquiring as to wheather or not he had any inkling as to where the affiliation would be next year. He responded by saying the Reds had already indicated they wanted to return to Lynchburg. He reponded to the Reds by saying that he would hold out and listen to other teams. On the surface this doesn't bode well for expecting the Reds to be back in Lynchburg. Last year the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate. As you pointed out JaxRed, the team in Lynchburgh this year isn't very competitive. I don't think the Lynchburg brass are impressed.

    I have inquired to the Mudcats GM in passing a couple of times about the same thing, what does next year look like? The last time I asked his response was critical of the attendance. He didn't directly relate it to the Reds but that was my impression, not a good team here. For the record, the Mudcats are about where they are every year in this league in attendance, the middle of the pack. The last two weeks have been a disaster as far as wins and losses are concerned. It seems the second half just started and the Mudcats are 10 games out already and in last place. I know from being here as long as I have that the owner will not sit still if he thinks he's getting a product that isn't competitive. Before the agreement between the Mudcats and the Rockies ended, there were several pieces in the local paper about the management not being happy with the Rockies committment to put a decent team here. I'm not judging the team myself, just stating what was in print here. The year before the Reds came in here, the Mudcats were in the playoffs. The Marlins and Mudcats had a successful relationship here.

    Having said all this, I would really hate to see the Reds move. I'd never been much on the Reds but have kind of made it my business to learn the organization and the players as I best I could since it is their players that are here. I managed to see the Advanced A, AA, and AAA team in June alone and still try to see Lynchburg when I can in the Carolina League.

    The circumstances were somewhat unique, for those that don't know, when the Reds moved here to begin with. Three teams in the league played music chairs and the Reds came here. The Marlins went to Jax and the Dodgers went to Chattanooga. I don't have a good feeling about the Reds being in either Lynchburg or here next year. Maybe I'm wrong...hope I am.

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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Obviously I would like the Reds to come to Jax (one of the open teams), but I can't realistically think that will come to pass. So my next best option is for the Reds to stay with Carolina. They come here 3 times a year, cool logo. etc.

    I'm really worried about the High A team. They already spent 2 years in the Cal League in recent years (Mudville).

    I'd really like to see the Reds become pro-active and buy that High A California franchise, and start working towards getting it into the Carolina League in some place like Columbia, SC.

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by muddie View Post
    JaxRed,

    This is an excellent thread and one that you have obviously researched well. This exact topic has been on my brain for weeks now. I posted a while back that I had emailed the Lynchburg GM inquiring as to wheather or not he had any inkling as to where the affiliation would be next year. He responded by saying the Reds had already indicated they wanted to return to Lynchburg. He reponded to the Reds by saying that he would hold out and listen to other teams. On the surface this doesn't bode well for expecting the Reds to be back in Lynchburg. Last year the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate. As you pointed out JaxRed, the team in Lynchburgh this year isn't very competitive. I don't think the Lynchburg brass are impressed.

    I have inquired to the Mudcats GM in passing a couple of times about the same thing, what does next year look like? The last time I asked his response was critical of the attendance. He didn't directly relate it to the Reds but that was my impression, not a good team here. For the record, the Mudcats are about where they are every year in this league in attendance, the middle of the pack. The last two weeks have been a disaster as far as wins and losses are concerned. It seems the second half just started and the Mudcats are 10 games out already and in last place. I know from being here as long as I have that the owner will not sit still if he thinks he's getting a product that isn't competitive. Before the agreement between the Mudcats and the Rockies ended, there were several pieces in the local paper about the management not being happy with the Rockies committment to put a decent team here. I'm not judging the team myself, just stating what was in print here. The year before the Reds came in here, the Mudcats were in the playoffs. The Marlins and Mudcats had a successful relationship here.

    Having said all this, I would really hate to see the Reds move. I'd never been much on the Reds but have kind of made it my business to learn the organization and the players as I best I could since it is their players that are here. I managed to see the Advanced A, AA, and AAA team in June alone and still try to see Lynchburg when I can in the Carolina League.

    The circumstances were somewhat unique, for those that don't know, when the Reds moved here to begin with. Three teams in the league played music chairs and the Reds came here. The Marlins went to Jax and the Dodgers went to Chattanooga. I don't have a good feeling about the Reds being in either Lynchburg or here next year. Maybe I'm wrong...hope I am.
    The Mudcats were not happy with the Rockies at all, that's why they left. There were extremely close to signing with St. Louis and had it all set but St. Louis decided to have all their higher affiliates in Tennessee (so the signed with the Smokies) so the Mudcats somewhat chose the Marlins by default. However, it turned out to be a great six year relationship until the end. Don't know exactly what happened but something did.
    As far as will the Carolina Mudcats stay with the Reds, I have no idea. I have, on multiple occasions, talked to the Mudcats owner, trying to get a feel for what he was leaning towards. The only thing I could get out of him was that whoever he signs with, he wants a big league exhibition game. He used that in negotiating in 2008 with the Giants, when he wanted the Reds all along. I have a feeling that he (the owner) is disappointed with the product on the field, which may factor big time into his decision to extend their PDC.
    On a side note, I'd be totally shocked if Jacksonville leaves the Marlins. Look at the prospects they have received the past two years (Sean West, Alex Sanabia, Michael Stanton, Logan Morrison, Matt Dominguez.) With that being said, the Marlins top-prospect crop might be lacking next year as they don't have many big named bats in Jupiter. They do have a arm or two but nothing to totally write home about until 2012 for Double-A.
    Oh and great job by Jaxred on the lead post.

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    Obviously I would like the Reds to come to Jax (one of the open teams), but I can't realistically think that will come to pass. So my next best option is for the Reds to stay with Carolina. They come here 3 times a year, cool logo. etc.

    I'm really worried about the High A team. They already spent 2 years in the Cal League in recent years (Mudville).

    I'd really like to see the Reds become pro-active and buy that High A California franchise, and start working towards getting it into the Carolina League in some place like Columbia, SC.
    Jax, you follow these Player Development Contracts closely. Am I off base, or is it safe to say we're trending to where each organization's minor league teams could wind up being within a couple hundred miles of the actual franchise sometime in the next 10 years? Everytime another shuffle takes place, or at least within 1-3 cycles, it seems affiliates are creeping closer and closer to the parent club.

    Instinctively, a geographical approach makes a lot of sense. It cuts down on travel costs to promote and demote players and reduces the obligated moving expenses incurred when paying for an affected player's relocation. I just wonder, when the minor league systems exploded in the 70's and 80's, why this didn't happen sooner? I'm guessing that since, at that time, most minor league teams were under truly separate ownership, that it was a case of mixing and matching. Now a lot of organizations are resorting to owning their own teams, and the ones that don't, have more say in the operations.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    Jax, you follow these Player Development Contracts closely. Am I off base, or is it safe to say we're trending to where each organization's minor league teams could wind up being within a couple hundred miles of the actual franchise sometime in the next 10 years? Everytime another shuffle takes place, or at least within 1-3 cycles, it seems affiliates are creeping closer and closer to the parent club.

    Instinctively, a geographical approach makes a lot of sense. It cuts down on travel costs to promote and demote players and reduces the obligated moving expenses incurred when paying for an affected player's relocation. I just wonder, when the minor league systems exploded in the 70's and 80's, why this didn't happen sooner? I'm guessing that since, at that time, most minor league teams were under truly separate ownership, that it was a case of mixing and matching. Now a lot of organizations are resorting to owning their own teams, and the ones that don't, have more say in the operations.
    People have thought that the minor league teams nearby can hurt attendance, not sure if they do, but you could argue it extends the fan interest even more.

    Crazy, the Reds used to have a AAA in Seattle.

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    People have thought that the minor league teams nearby can hurt attendance, not sure if they do, but you could argue it extends the fan interest even more.

    Crazy, the Reds used to have a AAA in Seattle.
    I have heard that argument, and I personally don't feel that's the case. I think a lot more people would go to games of minor league teams in the area to see the future prospects than fans staying home because of the availability of the parent club. I'm sure there are quite a few folks that would go, instead, to the Major League game (where available) or stay and watch them on TV at home... but I truly believe fan and local interest in a minor league club goes up with regional ties to the community.

    If there's any truth to that, it seems to go against the current trend. As an independent owner of a minor league club, I might look at that more closely and I have to weigh whether it's worth it. But with more and more backing and involvement from parent clubs, I think that's less of an issue than it could have been 20 years ago.
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    While we're on the subject, if as some mentioned, close proximity to Cincy is a plus, where would your ideal minor league teams for the Reds be located? Pretend you are starting from scratch.

  12. #11
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    While we're on the subject, if as some mentioned, close proximity to Cincy is a plus, where would your ideal minor league teams for the Reds be located? Pretend you are starting from scratch.
    I'd keep the existing teams in Louisville and Dayton, and look at adding teams to Richmind, IN and possibly Owensboro or Frankfort, KY.

    Having a AA team across the river in Covington wouldn't be a terrible idea, either.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    I'd like to see one in Parkersburg, WV or Athens, OH. I wish there was a way to have Indy and Louisville, but I prefer Louisville because I like the city better. Bloomington is a cool town as well.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Could someone amplify a bit on what the High A and AA squads may look like next season, particular which big prospects might be expected at those levels next year.
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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    I think there is a trend towards getting the minor league cities closer to the mothership. Easier for the east coast cities than someone like Seattle.

    Fellas, I's appreciate this thread being about actual discsussion of where the Reds teams are heading rather than dream scenarios (sounds like a good idea for a thread)

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    Re: Where will AA and Hi A teams be next year

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Could someone amplify a bit on what the High A and AA squads may look like next season, particular which big prospects might be expected at those levels next year.
    Well for Double-A you're likely looking at these guys returning:

    Carroll
    Webb
    Boxberger
    Fairel
    Perez
    and maybe Negron and Avery

    As for guys coming up from High-A
    Joseph
    Soto
    Day
    Hotchkiss
    Jeffords
    Serrano (maybe)
    Partch

    But all of that could change due to trades or free agent signings.


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