The rumors have been around for a while now, that the restructuring of Minor League Baseball would be moving teams to new leagues, and even some leagues to new levels. Earlier this afternoon the New York Yankees dropped a press release showing their new affiliate chain and within there it included some news that was rumored and now basically confirmed – The Florida State League will be transitioning from an Advanced-A league to a Low-A league.

The Yankees release notes that their Tampa affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons, would now be their Low-A team, shifting from their Advanced-A team. While the league itself wasn’t confirmed to be moving, this is about as confirmed as you will get without the information directly in a press release from the league.

For the Cincinnati Reds, that’s where things get slightly more interesting. There have been plenty of rumors with the shuffle in Minor League Baseball, and another one was that the Midwest League would be moving from Low-A to Advanced-A. In the past few years the Reds Low-A affiliate was the Dayton Dragons in the Midwest League, and their Advanced-A affiliate was the Daytona Tortugas in the Florida State League.

Nothing is official with regards to the Daytona Tortugas keeping their MiLB license and affiliation with the Reds organization at this point. They were initially on the “cut list” that was leaked 13 months ago, but that list has reportedly since changed – we just haven’t gotten an update on it with those updates. But if they do stick around and remain in the Florida State League and affiliated with Cincinnati, they could become the organizations new Low-A team if the Midwest League and Dayton Dragons were to move up to the Advanced-A level. The Dragons, as a part of a deal with the Reds for allowing them to operate, will be a Reds affiliate as long as Cincinnati wants them to be. The idea that they would let another organization come and play in Dayton makes no financial or branding sense, so don’t expect that to happen.

There’s going to be a lot of movement in Minor League Baseball over the next few weeks as more and more information comes out about which leagues are going where, which teams survived the purge from 160 to 120, and who is now affiliated with who.

12 Responses

  1. MK

    I think their front office might not agree but I believe much of Dayton’s Success revolves around affiliation with the Reds. A few years ago the Gift Shop Manager told me he was not allowed to order any Reds items for the shop. I had mentioned in Columbus their shop had all kinds of Indians stuff. If you check out the Stadium or uniforms there is no Reds logo to be seen.

    • Greenfield Red

      MK, I don’t doubt what you say is true. I’m trying to process the reason for such a ban. If Dayton owes much of it’s success to Cincinnati, would Dayton ownership be against having Cincinnati stuff in the shop because they make less money on non Dragon stuff? Or would Cincinnati not allow Reds stuff in the shop for some reason?

      • MK

        It is hard to understand. I think you can get a Dragons hat in Cincinnati. I’ve been to West Michigan and they totally embrace the Tigers. Went to Kane County when they were a Cubs team and there were more Cubs logos in the Stadium and Gift Shop than CougarsHeck in Fort Wayne the team wears Padres jerseys on Sundays. The Dragons don’t even have a Reds logo on their uniforms unlike most of the other teams have their affiliate on theirs.

  2. Dan McSurley

    Isn’t Chattanooga on the cut list, and if so where might they look for a double a team?

    • Doug Gray

      They were. The list has changed. We have no clue what the new list looks like.

      If the Lookouts are gone, I haven’t got a clue where they’d look. I think there’s going to be a lot of movement – so we, the public, don’t even really know which teams are even “available”.

  3. Charlie Waffles

    I can see the Reds moving their low-A team to the South Atlantic League. It could be within the Reds footprint and located closer to Dayton and Cincinnati. Thete are several newer stadiums in the Sally League. Lexington, Charleston and a couple of others are close by with newer stadiums and facilities.

  4. BK

    Based on the changes the Yankees made, I anticipate we’ll see Dayton at the AA level next year (assuming Louisville remains AAA). Yankees dropped Charleston WV which would fit nicely with the Reds from a regional marketing perspective.

    • conceded44

      That Charleston is in SC. The Charleston WV team was affiliated with the Seattle Mariners. I believe WV is no longer affiliated with a MLB team.

      • BK

        Thanks for the correction. I found it interesting that the Yankees went with some locations not currently affiliated. SC, though, is not a great geographic fit if the Reds can find good fits closer.

    • Doug Gray

      Don’t expect Dayton at the AA level. That’s never really been rumored. The Midwest League has long been rumored to be moving to Advanced-A.

  5. Thomas A Mills

    I think the odds of Daytona surviving are about 5%. FSL is dropping 2 teams. Braves already have a low A team elsewhere, so that’s one team. All the other 10 are tied in to clubs spring training sites.

    Daytona has ancient ballpark, is nowhere close to other teams, not tied to a spring training site.

    Only question is where Reds go. Augusta makes sense on a couple levels. Lexington would REALLY make sense if they survive.

  6. MK

    The Florida State League and Midwest League match up pretty well to change leagues but maintain affiliations: Dayton-Daytona-Reds; West Michigan-Lakeland-Tigers; Bowling Green-Charlotte-Rays; Lansing-Dunedin-Blue Jays; Clinton-Jupiter-Marlins; Peoria-Palm Beach-Cardinals; Cedar Rapids-Fort Meyers-Twins