Durham Bulls extend PDC with Rays to 2022

The Durham Bulls have extended their player development contract with the Rays to 2022.  The Bulls have been the Rays AAA affiliate since they began in 1998.  This is the first renewal announced after the proposal to eliminate some teams and while I don’t think the Bulls would be significantly impacted, if the PDC structure changes, this extension may become somewhat irrelevant.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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MLB Proposes Eliminating 40 Minor League Teams after 2020 Season

This is the start of negotiations of the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, but MLB has proposed going to a 120 team minor league system from the current 160 teams.

Some key points worth noting:

The PBA currently expires after the 2020 season and this is the beginning of negotiations, so nothing is definite.  I would be surprised if this ended up being the end result, but I could see some compromise where they end up with 150 teams, as an example.  The 1990 PBA resulted in stricter standards for minor league stadiums, which resulted in some franchises relocating.  MLB is saying now that they are looking to increase facility standards and player salaries, and this would eliminate many players in each organization.

The remaining leagues would be dramatically restructured with teams changing classification levels and leagues changing the number of teams.  This is very interesting because fans are used to seeing play at a certain level in their hometown stadiums and now that team could be playing at a different level with a number of new league members.

The Player Development Contract process will be dramatically reworked to eliminate the two year deals and have longer franchise agreements between the MLB and MiLB teams.

The proposal actually eliminates 42 teams (don’t have any specifics), but they want to add the St. Paul Saints and Sugar Land Skeeters, which are currently in independent leagues, to MiLB.  Some of the short-season teams would become full-season and some full-season teams would be eliminated.

The teams that are eliminated could become part of the Dream League, which would contain non-drafted players and essentially act as an independent league that operates under MLB and MiLB.  But some of the teams may not be able to afford to play in this league.

This would be a radical shift in the structure of minor league baseball and it will be interesting to see how the fans react.  Some municipalities are spending money on their ballparks only to have them lose their affiliation with Major League Baseball.

So this will surely be interesting to see how it plays out.

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Fredericksburg team to be known as Nationals

The new team in Fredericksburg, the relocating Potomac Nationals, will be known as the Fredericksburg Nationals.  I’m somewhat surprised that they chose to maintain the Nationals moniker instead of creating a separate identity, but since they are relatively close to the big league team, this may be a good start for them.

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St. Lucie Mets vs Tampa Tarpons – June 5, 2019

I had to go on a business trip requiring me to fly into Orlando and I was able to see a game while I was there.  The closest team that was at home was the St. Lucie Mets, so I thought that would be a good place to go.

I knew I was cutting things close with my trip after work and I arrived just before game time.  I didn’t realize that the stadium was being renovated and that half of the seats were off limits.  I was definitely surprised to see the construction work that was visible from outside of the stadium.

Normally, I arrive at least an hour before the game starts to take pictures, get a good look at the stadium, and maybe get some autographs.  But since I walked up right as the national anthem was playing, I didn’t have that same opportunity.  I was able to get my obligatory pictures though.  The official attendance was 580, so there were plenty of seats and chances to walk around and take pictures wherever I wanted.

I was excited to see Tampa CF Estevan Florial, the Yankees #1 prospect, in his third game of the season after coming off of the injured list.  Although he went 1-4, he continued his hit streak in every game of this season.

The Mets scored first on a home run by 3B Blake Tiberi and put up 3 more in the 5th.  Mets starting pitcher Tony Dibrell looked good going 5 1/3 striking out 5 without giving up a run.  The Tarpons made it 4-3 in the top of the 7th thanks to a home run by 3B Angel Aguilar.  But the Mets added 3 in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-run single by CF Jacob Zanon and a home run by DH Carlos Cortes, ending as a 7-3 Mets win.

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Florida Fire Frogs leaving Kissimmee after 2019 season

The Florida Fire Frogs will be relocating after the 2019 season as the site will be turned into a soccer complex.  There has been no official announcement about where the team will move to, but one would have to think that an option would be the Braves new spring training facility in North Port, FL.  Since this is the only Braves affiliate that the major league team does not own, they may be looking to change that.

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Omaha Storm Chasers extend PDC with Royals to 2022

The Omaha Storm Chasers have extended their player development contract with the Royals to 2022.  Omaha has the third longest affiliation with the same club, as they have been with the Royals since 1969.  Only Lakeland with the Tigers and Reading with the Phillies are longer.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Albuquerque Isotopes extend PDC with Rockies to 2022

The Albuquerque Isotopes have extended their player development contract with the Rockies to 2022.  The Isotopes have been a Rockies affiliate since 2015.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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El Paso Chihuahuas extend PDC with Padres to 2022

The El Paso Chihuahuas have extended their player development contract with the Padres to 2022.  The Chihuahuas have been a Padres affiliate since their inception in 2014.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Portland Sea Dogs extend PDC with Red Sox to 2022

The Portland Sea Dogs have extended their player development contract with the Red Sox to 2022.  The Sea Dogs have been a Red Sox affiliate since 2003.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Las Vegas 51s change name to Aviators

The Las Vegas 51s have changed their name to the Las Vegas Aviators.  I think that it’s a much better choice and a more reasonable name than many of the other new choices.  I didn’t like 51s since it was a tribute to Area 51 which is close to Las Vegas and not a being.  Although when people think about Las Vegas, I don’t think the first thought is about the aircraft testing that is done in the area.

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