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2021 Brewers Affiliates

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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#21

Posted: May 31, 2020, 3:38 PM Post
Posts: 113
balsamlaker said:
Lincoln DD, I think you are correct and I think MLB is going to try to make an effort to push geographical connections. At AA, if the Brewers like Biloxi I don't know if anyone will take them from them. They have a nice stadium, but not great attendance or population base. AAA - who knows? It wouldn't shock me if Vancouver joined AAA (not for the Brewers) and Jacksonville would make a lot of sense for the Marlins. It wouldn't be shocking to see Fresno, Syracuse, San Antonio, or Wichita drop down to AA or for the last two to even be the Brewers AAA affiliate since there is nothing really geographical for the Brewers unless you want to stretch it and move Kane County up. I could see Kane County maybe taking over as the CWS AA affiliate and/or a few others moving up such as Brooklyn to Mets AA, W. Michigan to Tigers AA, and Dayton to Reds AA. All just guesses, though. It will be interesting to see how much MLB wants to shake it up if they take total control.


Great points. If the Brewers are happy in Biloxi, I think they could stay. I don't think MLB will force teams out. The White Sox seem to be happy where they are at all levels, even if there are better AAA fits (e.g. Indianapolis) and Low-A (the entire Midwest League). I doubt MLB would make them leave Charlotte and Kannapolis (in NC, along with their High A team) if they don't want. Biloxi doesn't seem to have any logical geographic fits anyway. Maybe the Marlins if their current AA home in Jacksonville is bumped up to AAA, but Pensacola would make more sense in any sort of forced realignment. Given there aren't any AA teams west of Texas, there are going to be bad fits at that level regardless, so that seems like the level most likely to have geographic flexibility.

MLB is planning on a six-team Low A league in the northwest for the West Coast MLB teams, though I've read there may not be enough interest (a lot of West Coast teams are reportedly happy where they're at in the MW and SAL). I do think that if it happens, Vancouver goes to Low A and stays a Blue Jays affiliate. I think Toronto is happy in Buffalo at AAA, but put a lot of value in having a Canadian affiliate, even if it's so far away. And aside from Seattle, who already has a close AAA affiliate, hard to seem another team who would want to align with Vancouver at AAA, imo.

Syracuse has crappy attendance and certainly seems like a good demotion candidate, but they're also owned by the Mets, and MLB team ownership seems to be the saving grace for MiLB teams (only one on the original contraction list had a MLB owner). That would also potentially leave the Mets with two AA teams if Brooklyn is promoted. I did read once that the Yankees would exercise their veto power over the Mets putting a AA team in Brooklyn, but would be fine with a Low-A team there, so could possibly leave Syracuse as a demotion candidate in that scenario. So San Antonio demoted, replaced at AAA by Sugar Land; Fresno demoted, replaced by St. Paul; Wichita demoted, replaced by Jacksonville; Syracuse demoted, replaced by who? Maybe Hartford? Richmond (for Nats, with Twins in St. Paul and Mets in Rochester)?

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Sad for a lot of cities, but still interesting.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#22

Posted: May 31, 2020, 3:43 PM Post
Posts: 113
MadThinker88 said:
From some of the reports out there have Erie (Detroit), Binghamton (NYMets), Jackson (Arizona) are AA clubs on the chopping block along with Chattanooga (Cinci).

I did see a report where Brooklyn is making the jump up from Short-season to replace Binghamton as AA for the Mets but have not seen other replacements being suggested. This is a massive realignment project. Not only geographically but level/ facility wise.

I have been to Dayton to see a game (along with Appleton, Lake County & Beloit). It appears Dayton has the seating capacity (& draws fans) to be on the AA level (park seats over 7,200) but I don't know if it has the other necessary player facilities for being at the AA level. If Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton added 2000 seats would it have the necessary pieces to be on the AA level? That I do not know.

Looking at the stadiums for Kane County (almost 11k capacity) & West Michigan (almost 9k capacity) they might be possible AAA replacement sites.

If teams like San Diego (A- Fort Wayne, almost 6.6k capacity) and LA Dodgers (A- Great Lakes/ Midland MI, 5.5k capacity), and Seattle (A- West Virginia, 4.5k capacity) can get A level locations geographically closer to them, their current affiliates would make for some good geographical backfill pairings


I think this is really interesting. I read once that West Michigan was being considered as a AA team for Detroit (and unfortunately can't find the link now), but haven't really seen any other mention. I've also read Bowling Green could be promoted to AA (Southern League) as a Reds affiliate. Otherwise, I haven't seen any mention of replacements at that level.

But your look at those Midwest league teams as promotion candidates is a great idea (and h/t to balsamlaker as well). Not sure any really fit in AAA, but AA makes a ton of sense Would everyone like to see a new Midwest AA league, to get the Brewers closer?

Just playing around with it, building off what you wrote:

New six team AA Great Lakes League:
Akron - Cleveland (Pulling from current AA Eastern League; this makes more sense geographically)
Dayton - Cincinnati
Grand Rapids - Detroit
These are currently affiliations, so I'll keep them this way, especially if Detroit (Erie) and Cincinnati (Chattanooga) really are losing their current AA teams. Plus, they're all great geographic fits.

Could be different (I don't think Appleton looks like a AA city imo), but how about this to flush out the league:
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Lansing

Maybe a West Coast team would show interest (Arizona currently at Low-A Kane County and potentially losing AA Jackson), but let's say MLB is "encouraging" Central/Midwest teams to affiliate in this league and is giving them precedence. Let's assume the White Sox are happy with Birmingham (been there for years). The Pirates stay in Altoona in the EL, KC the same in the Texas League. St. Louis owns their Texas League team, so they stay put. Thus the Brewers, Cubs and Twins are vying for those three cities. What would your preference be?


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#23

Posted: May 31, 2020, 4:04 PM Post
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Well I had a nice conversation with an insider today and Rocket City is going to stay with the Angels for a long time. I heard 30 year contract and both parties are amenable. I also heard that the teams that are going to be contracted already know. MLB asked every team if they wanted to stay with their current affiliates and to basically put out their ideas for good fits they would like to see. Basically MLB wants minor league teams that will invest in the business and player side of it. IE good locker rooms, facilities, etc. and to not let their stadiums rot away.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#24

Posted: May 31, 2020, 4:19 PM Post
Posts: 1327
Location: Ohio
Grand Rapids? I had to go look up West Michigan again to realize that was who you meant...

Lansing (Lugnuts, Toronto affiliate) has a capacity of 7.5k plus room for another 2K more with lawn/ patio & standing room. Peoria, IL (current home for A level St. Louis) has a capacity of 7.5K..

So many different ways to go with this.. I believe that if Geographical proximity is truly a goal of the realignment, baseball will try to have teams (where possible) about the same distance away.

So of the 3 possibles you listed Kane County would go with Minnesota. Id surmise Lansing goes with Detroit, Grand Rapids to MKE (hey, use the ferry to cross Lake Michigan) and Fort Wayne with the Cubs..


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#25

Posted: May 31, 2020, 8:33 PM Post
Posts: 174
It will definitely be interesting to see what happens at AAA and AA. It is very similar to a draft watching how one change forces the "dominoes" to fall. What if Dayton moves all the way up to AAA, does that make a return to Louisville possible? What if what is left of the Southern League that isn't in Florida joins the SAL and moves to low-A? Biloxi may not even be a AA option.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#26

Posted: June 01, 2020, 9:36 AM Post
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I think it benefits both the parent and minor league club to have long standing relationships. For example, in Milwaukee a decent amount of hockey fans are predators fans. If the admirals were switching affiliates every few years that wouldn't be the case. I hope the system can get fixed to avoid the affiliate dance every 2 years. Also if they can do better geographically, it would also be nice.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#27

Posted: June 02, 2020, 9:20 AM Post
Posts: 10
Location: Pensacola, FL
One thing MLB made clear is they don't care about the occupancy of the stadiums for their affiliates. So the old belief that we built this stadium to host AAA baseball is going to go away. Am interested in what do you do with a team like Bowling Green that doesn't make sense for anything outside of being a Reds affiliate in some capacity.

I been told that the Marlins or Rays will occupy AA Pensacola if the Twins decide to leave.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#28

Posted: June 13, 2020, 9:48 AM Post
Posts: 113
MadThinker88 said:
Grand Rapids? I had to go look up West Michigan again to realize that was who you meant...



D'oh! Sorry about that! Not from the area and unfamiliar with the geography, it was easier to think "Grand Rapids" when I was playing around with this and looking at the map a lot.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#29

Posted: June 17, 2020, 4:11 PM Post
Posts: 174
If MLB truly doesn't care about the occupancy of stadiums for different levels anymore and if they want proximity to the parent club, would it be possible, with the new stadium in Beloit, for the T-Rats to move all the way up to AAA and Beloit to become the Brewers low-A affiliate? The T-Rats would never be the most attended AAA games, but they typically bring in more than the current Braves AAA ball club. As I have mentioned in a previous post, Kane County would seem to make a lot of sense also as a "proximity" candidate to move up to AAA, also. The have a strong minor league attendance two hours from Milwaukee with I think Arizona as the parent club.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#30

Posted: June 17, 2020, 8:22 PM Post
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When are the going to finalize the teams Affiliates.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#31

Posted: June 19, 2020, 8:00 AM Post
Posts: 113
brewmann04 said:
When are the going to finalize the teams Affiliates.


I doubt we'll hear anything for a while. I think the current agreement (Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA)) expires at the end of September, so they've got time. And of course everyone on the MLB side right now is working on trying to put together a MLB season, so no focus on MiLB currently.

It's also possible (likely?) that some MiLB teams will fold/self-contract because they're not making any money, so that's another reason it may take a little while as they wait out that process. In that case we could see some MLB jump in and buy those teams on the brink of collapse (despite MLB owners crying poor [rolling eyes] ).


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#32

Posted: June 19, 2020, 8:17 AM Post
Posts: 113
balsamlaker said:
If MLB truly doesn't care about the occupancy of stadiums for different levels anymore and if they want proximity to the parent club, would it be possible, with the new stadium in Beloit, for the T-Rats to move all the way up to AAA and Beloit to become the Brewers low-A affiliate? The T-Rats would never be the most attended AAA games, but they typically bring in more than the current Braves AAA ball club. As I have mentioned in a previous post, Kane County would seem to make a lot of sense also as a "proximity" candidate to move up to AAA, also. The have a strong minor league attendance two hours from Milwaukee with I think Arizona as the parent club.


I think you're right about MLB's feelings on occupancy. MLB isn't gonna care if fans are crammed into a small stadium, sitting on metal bleachers and fighting over a small handful of bathrooms, as long as their prospects have nice, large facilities. So we could very well see fits we're not used to seeing (like Fresno, likely going to be a High A team playing in a huge AAA-caliber stadium).

I think AAA will be a little different, though; travel will still matter. If you bump Beloit up to AAA, they finish a homestand, and then have to play on the road several states away the next day, what would the travel be like? I think the reason Fresno is getting dropped down is because travel within the PCL is a PITA. And if a MLB team is in the middle of a series in San Diego and need to call a player up from a place like Beloit, how long would that take?

Bus-only leagues, it may make sense to kick a short-season team all the way up to AA in order to make travel easier, but AAA probably still makes more sense in larger cities with bigger airports (imo).


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#33

Posted: June 19, 2020, 6:06 PM Post
Posts: 174
I don't think Beloit would jump up to AAA as the new stadium's maximum capacity is under 4K, I believe. Rumor has it the PCL would go down to ten teams, so if the Brewers' AAA team would be in say Appleton or Kane County they would likely be in a division that includes Omaha, Iowa, St. Paul, etc.


Last edited by balsamlaker on June 25, 2020, 1:58 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#34

Posted: June 20, 2020, 9:52 AM Post
Posts: 1327
Location: Ohio
You know, IF expansion took place, it would be a great excuse to limit the various level leagues to a 8 team max...
4 leagues of 8 teams = the 32 MLB franchises.

It could also help in getting leagues more regionally aligned with the parent club, especially at higher levels..


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#35

Posted: June 25, 2020, 10:16 AM Post
Posts: 113
balsamlaker said:
I don't think Beloit would just up to AAA as the new stadium's maximum capacity is under 4K, I believe. Rumor has it the PCL would go down to ten teams, so if the Brewers' AAA team would be in say Appleton or Kane County they would likely be in a division that includes Omaha, Iowa, St. Paul, etc.


Appleton could still be something of a travel nightmare, but who knows.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#36

Posted: June 25, 2020, 10:37 AM Post
Posts: 113
Now that an MLB season has been agreed on, the MiLB restructure talks can be expected to start up again. BA covered that today:

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... surprises/


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#37

Posted: June 25, 2020, 8:12 PM Post
Posts: 174
If the Midwest League is going from 16 to 12, it could be as simple as Burlington, Quad Cities, and Clinton being contracted and Bowling Green moving to the SAL. If this is the case, it wouldn't be shocking if the Brewers top four affiliates stay exactly the same.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#38

Posted: June 28, 2020, 12:55 PM Post
Posts: 113
I'd be pretty confident in the status quo, with Wisconsin and Carolina. I think Biloxi has been discussed here, but I'd put that as a safe keep as well. Not as confident in AAA staying in San Antonio though.

I don't know what to make of this from that article though:

"MLB has been asking its 30 teams to share their thoughts on where they would like to place their affiliates in 2021..."


Presuming there'd still have to be some geographic limitations at Low A, Advanced A and AA (e.g. the Giants can't make San Jose a AA team), what's there to stop a team from requesting a AAA wherever they want?
-Can the Marlins request Jacksonville as their new AAA?
-Could the Nationals do the same and request Richmond as their AAA affiliate, even though it's a AA team that's not currently affiliated with them?
-Could the Orioles decide they want their AAA affiliate aligned with one of their other closer affiliates (like Bowie), and if no other team expressed interest there as an AAA team, would Norfolk then have no say and have to accept a demotion (or contraction)?

I'm probably overthinking this, but it sounds like it could be pretty crazy.


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Offline  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#39

Posted: June 28, 2020, 2:03 PM Post
Posts: 174
If this is truly the way MLB is planning to do it, you could see a large game of dominoes. It would make sense for the Marlins to request Jacksonville. Independent-league additions could add dominoes. If the Twins request St. Paul, maybe Rochester goes to the Mets and Syracuse becomes their AA? If Sugar Land joins, do they join at AAA or AA? If you are the Brewers, who would you choose at AAA that won't be chosen by their current parent club - San Antonio, Wichita, Richmond, Rochester, Hartford?


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Online  Re: 2021 Brewers Affiliates
#40

Posted: July 01, 2020, 3:28 PM Post
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
balsamlaker said:
If this is truly the way MLB is planning to do it, you could see a large game of dominoes. It would make sense for the Marlins to request Jacksonville. Independent-league additions could add dominoes. If the Twins request St. Paul, maybe Rochester goes to the Mets and Syracuse becomes their AA? If Sugar Land joins, do they join at AAA or AA? If you are the Brewers, who would you choose at AAA that won't be chosen by their current parent club - San Antonio, Wichita, Richmond, Rochester, Hartford?


I think the Brewers would request Nashville for AAA, Biloxi for AA, and then Carolina and Wisconsin for A ball. I think the rookie leagues will go away and the teams will just use their spring training sites for a rookie league or an instructional league.

I think the Dominican league will also stay you may see some recent drafted players go there instead of the rookie leagues.


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