The Farm Report -- 12/9/2020

Per Baseball America and other outlets, MLB has extended invites to 119 teams to be part of its minor league system. Texas's system would be:

AAA -- Round Rock
AA -- Frisco
High-A -- Hickory
Low-A -- Down East

So, as expected. Only the AAA situation was in question, and even then Round Rock was the logical choice despite there being no downside to a continued affiliation with Nashville. Hickory and Down East are swapping levels.

Also as expected, the Milwaukee Brewers extended an invite to Nashville. That'll be interesting. The Brewers and Nashville had affiliated for years, with the Brewers biding their time in one of AAA's lesser facilities while the new one was planned and constructed. Upon completion, Nashville coldly spurned Milwaukee for Oakland, leading to an unusually public condemnation from then-GM Doug Melvin.

Texas's former short-season affiliate Spokane has been extended an invite to be the high-A partner of the Colorado Rockies. Colorado previously had an affiliation in neighboring Boise.

Elsewhere, the San Antonio Missions appear to be getting San Diego back in addition to dropping back down to AA. The Pads were in the Alamo City from 2007 through 2018 before heading to Amarillo's new park. I've been a low-key fan of San Diego for over a decade on account of seeing their prospects for a few games every year, so I'm happy with this development. Amarillo will instead host Arizona.

Houston's AAA squad will move to Sugar Land, as previously announced. Houston owns AA Corpus Christi, so that situation won't change. AA Midland will continue its lengthy relationship with Oakland.

The putative 120th team is the Fresno Grizzlies, who are mulling whether to accept demotion from AAA to low-A. If they decline, the Lancaster Jethawks (currently on the chopping block) would probably take their place.

To be clear, these partnerships are not official. Major League clubs have only extended invites to minor league teams. MLB and MiLB are still negotiating how the overall minor league system will operate and specific contract terms.

On a purely selfish level, I am doing a little dance at how this worked out. Texas's AAA team is returning to my backyard, and I'll also get Frisco's visits to San Antonio that ended when the Missions jumped to AAA. I'm one of the lucky ones. Many teams have a very difficult path going forward, and a bunch of fans are grieving. Livelihoods and fandoms are being lost today.

More on the changes later.


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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