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.