A few more moves in the Minor League affiliation “dance”

Today and yesterday, some news was published about new Minor League affiliations of the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals. The news about the first one doesn’t really come as a surprise.

Sugar Land Skeeters Alternate Logo - Atlantic League (ALPB) - Chris  Creamer's Sports Logos Page - SportsLogos.Net

Yesterday, the (still) independent Sugarland Skeeters, the club with arguably one of the worst logos in baseball, announced that they will leave the Atlantic League to become the Houston Cheatros, err, Astros AAA affiliate. From the Astros’ point of view the move is quite understandable as Sugarland is located in the greater Houston Area.

With independent teams in hard times due to the corona virus, the move may be an act of desperation from the Skeeters’ point of view. One big advantage of becoming an affiliated ball club is that the club itself does not have to pay for the player salaries anymore.

The news was tweeted by several news outlets but not by the club itself, neither by the Astros.

Other affiliation news comes form the Washington Nationals. Today it was announced that the void, the Minnesota Twins are leaving in Rochester, as they are working on a deal with the St. Paul Saints, is taken by the Nationals. In other words, the Rochester RedWings will be the Nats’ AAA farm team. 

For the Nationals this is a big improvement. The club partnered with the Fresno Grizzlies on the other coast of the US. That PDC could not last as the Grizzlies will be “demoted” to low A as part of the California League. By signing a deal with the RedWings, the Nats will have their top minor league affiliate in the same time zone again. 

There is one question that remains: What will happen to the Round Rock Express, the team that used to be the Astros’ AAA team? Nothing is known yet but since Round Rock is closer to Arlington than the Texas Rangers’ current AAA team in Nashville, the Express may become the Rangers’ top affiliate again if the Rangers want that of course. 

To be continued…

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