The Reds stay in the Carolina League was brief.
After only one season in Lynchburg, the Reds are headed west to the California League (most likely landing in Bakersfield) after the three remaining Carolina League affiliates were snatched up.
As expected, the Rangers pulled out of Bakersfield after their four-year player development contract expired and will sign on with Myrtle Beach—the Carolina League affiliate owned by new Rangers managing partner/CEO Chuck Greenberg. Meanwhile, the Braves, who had been in Myrtle Beach since 1999, signed a four-year PDC with Lynchburg. That left Kinston, which extended by two years its partnership with the Indians—a relationship that dates back to 1987.
Just three high Class A affiliates remain available, all in the Cal League: Bakersfield, Inland Empire (Dodgers) and Rancho Cucamonga (Angels). Speculation has been that Rancho, under the new ownership of Bobby Brett, is interested in hooking up with the Dodgers. That would likely send the Angels to Inland and leave the Reds in Bakersfield.
Bakersfield remains the least popular high A affiliate because of aging Sam Lynn Ballpark (the team recently sent out a tweet celebrating the stadium's 70th birthday). The stadium no longer meets facility standards. Games often can't start until the sun sets because the batter's eye faces west. And, despite Cal League president Charlie Blaney's best efforts, no suitor has stepped forward to build a new ballpark.
(A complete chart of affiliations can be found here.)
In other affiliation shuffle news:
* The Blue Jays are leaving short-season Auburn (New York-Penn) and headed to Vancouver (Northwest).
* The Astros continue to eye Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast) as its new Triple-A home.
* The Brewers are set to announce an extension with Double-A Huntsville (Southern), by default, despite concerns about the condition of Joe Davis Stadium.