Minor league baseball restructuring: Full list of 119 affiliate invites sent out by MLB teams

MLB

Minor league baseball restructuring: Full list of 119 affiliate invites sent out by MLB teams

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(Ryan Fagan/SN)

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MLB’s desire to reshape, restructure and rearrange the minor leagues hasn’t been much of a secret for a long time. Now, we know what MLB expects/hopes the geographic landscape to look like, in 2021 and the future.

Baseball America first broke the news last October that MLB was planning to cut the number of minor league teams from 162 to 120 — four per franchise — and on Wednesday, invitations went out to 119 of those teams. What does that mean?

MORE: MLB free-agent tracker for 2020-21 offseason

It means that MLB has evaluated every franchise — facilities, geography, politics, etc. — and picked what it felt would be the best 120 locations/teams to populate the franchises for four levels (Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A). Here’s a great explainer. Each MLB team sent “invitations” to the four teams it wants to be affiliated with going forward. Some of those teams are owned by the parent team — for example, three of the four Cardinals affiliates going forward are owned by the Cardinals — so there wasn’t much drama there.

It’s up to teams to accept those invitations, which are basically terms and conditions both sides have to adhere to (Player Development Contracts). The invitations are written by MLB, so even though many affiliates will immediately accept, some owned by individuals will at least have a moment to pause and consider their next step.

Here’s the list of 119 invitations sent out, gleaned from team press releases and information reported by Baseball America. Only the Rockies are lacking one team; ongoing discussions between MLB and Fresno are holding up the final spot. Fresno has been a Triple-A town for a long time, but MLB is only offering a Class A spot.

Full list of minor league MLB affiliates for 2021

Angels Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees Double-A: Rocket City Trash Pandas High-A: Tri-City Dust Devils Low-A: Inland Empire 66ers

Astros Triple-A: Sugar Land Skeeters Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks High-A: Asheville Tourists Low-A: Fayetteville Woodpeckers

Athletics Triple-A: Las Vegas Aviators Double-A: Midland Rock Hounds High-A: Lansing Lugnuts Low-A: Stockton Ports

Blue Jays Triple-A: Buffalo Bisons Double-A: New Hampshire Fisher Cats High-A: Vancouver Canadians Low-A: Dunedin Blue Jays

Braves Triple-A: Gwinnett Stripers Double-A: Mississippi Braves High-A: Rome Braves Low-A: Augusta GreenJackets

Brewers Triple-A: Nashville Sounds Double-A: Biloxi Shuckers High-A: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Low-A: Carolina Mudcats

Cardinals Triple-A: Memphis Redbirds Double-A: Springfield Cardinals High-A: Peoria Chiefs Low-A: Palm Beach Cardinals

Cubs Triple-A: Iowa Cubs Double-A: Tennessee Smokies High-A: South Bend Cubs Low-A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Diamondbacks Triple-A: Reno Aces Double-A: Amarillo Sod Poodles High-A: Visalia Rawhide Low-A: Hillsboro Hops

Dodgers Triple-A: Oklahoma City Dodgers Double-A: Tulsa Drillers High-A: Great Lakes Loons Low-A: Rancho Cucamongo Quakes

Giants Triple-A: Sacramento River Cats Double-A: Richmond Flying Squirrels High-A: Eugene Emeralds Low-A: San Jose Giants

Indians Triple-A: Columbus Clippers Double-A: Akron RubberDucks High-A: Lake County Captains Low-A: Lynchburg Hillcats

Mariners Triple-A: Tacoma Rainiers Double-A: Arkansas Travelers High-A: Everett AquaSox Low-A: Modesto Nuts

Marlins Triple-A: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Double-A: Pensacola Blue Wahoo High-A: Beloit Snappers Low-A: Jupiter Hammerheads

Mets Triple-A: Syracuse Mets Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies High-A: Brooklyn Cyclones Low-A: St. Lucie Mets

Nationals Triple-A: Rochester Red Wings Double-A: Harrisburg Senators High-A: Wilmington Blue Rocks Low-A: Fredericksburg Nationals

Orioles Triple-A: Norfolk Tides Double-A: Bowie Baysox High-A: Aberdeen Ironbirds Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds

Padres Triple-A: El Paso Chihuahuas Double-A: San Antonio Missions High-A: Fort Wayne TinCaps Low-A: Lake Elsinore Storm

Phillies Triple-A: Lehigh ValleyIron Pigs Double-A: Reading Fightin Phils High-A: Jersey Shore BlueClaws Low-A: Clearwater Threshers

Pirates Triple-A: Indianapolis Indians Double-A: Altoona Curve High-A: Greensboro Grasshoppers Low-A: Bradenton Marauders

Rangers Triple-A: Round Rock Express Double-A: Frisco Rough Riders High-A: Hickory Crawdads Low-A: Down East Wood Ducks

Rays Triple-A: Durham Bulls Double-A: Montgomery Biscuits High-A: Bowling Green Hot Rods Low-A: Charleston Riverdogs

Reds Triple-A: Louisville Bats Double-A: Chattanooga Lookouts High-A: Dayton Dragons Low-A: Daytona Tortugas

Red Sox Triple-A: Worcester Red Sox Double-A: Portland Sea Dogs High-A: Greenville Drive Low-A: Salem Red Sox

Rockies Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats High-A: Spokane Indians Low-A: TBD (possibly Fresno Grizzlies)

Royals Triple-A: Omaha StormChasers Double-A: Northwest Arkansas Naturals High-A: Quad City Bandits Low-A: Columbia Fireflies

Tigers Triple-A: Toledo Mud Hens Double-A: Erie SeaWolves High-A: West Michigan Whitecaps Low-A: Lakeland Flying Tigers

Twins Triple-A: St. Paul Saints Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Low-A: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels

White Sox Triple-A: Charlotte Knights Double-A: Birmingham Barons High-A: Winston-Salem Dash Low-A: Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Yankees Triple-A: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Double-A: Somerset Patriots High-A: Hudson Valley Renegades Low-A: Tampa Tarpons