The player-development shuffle has turned into a sprint, as few questions remain after teams have quickly lined up affiliations. Only two affiliates remain up for grabs in each of the Double-A, high Class A and short-season levels.
The latest signings:
Triple-A completed its affiliation signings over the weekend, the most notable movement including the Blue Jays heading West to Las Vegas.
Double-A Trenton and the Yankees will announce a renewal of their player-development contract at a new conference today, with Yankees GM Brian Cashman expected to be in attendance. Trenton owner Joe Finley had long said the deal was never in jeopardy, rather it was just a matter of the Yankees finding time to complete it—apparently the closing of Yankee Stadium had kept them busy.
Two Double-A affiliates remain unsigned: Carolina and Connecticut are are to pick between the Reds and Giants after the Marlins abandoned their Mudcat roots to head to Jacksonville. The Giants have spent the past six seasons in Connecticut, but have yet to announce their plans for the future.
Not only are the Astros headed to the launching pad that is Lancaster, but they are planning to stick around for a while. Houston inked a four-year PDC with the JetHawks through 2012. This is noteworthy considering that the Astros had previously bemoaned the fact that leaving Salem likely signaled an exit from the Carolina League as well, and that Lancaster’s high-altitude, hitter-friendly confines has not always been a sought-after destination. The deal is officially framed as a two-year deal with an automatic two-year extension.
Though announcement has been made, it would seem that Houston’s move to the California League would likely leave the White Sox to re-up with Winston-Salem since only the Mariners remain unsigned. The Dodgers re-signed with Inland Empire for two years and the Giants did the same in San Jose.
The low Class A situation has been settled as the talented Rangers young farm system moves closer to the home of Baseball America after signing a two-year deal with Hickory. It will be interesting to watch the attendance figures in Wisconsin next season after the hometown Brewers inked a four-year deal with the Timber Rattlers. That left the Mariners to sign a two-year deal with Clinton.
There is still no word on the final two short-season affiliates, though from a geographic standpoint, it would seem likely that the Giants will re-up with Salem-Keizer and that the Marlins would do the same Jamestown.
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