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Affiliate Dance: 2020

Ballpark DigestWhat teams have upcoming affiliation deals, and which ones are tied long-term to their parent teams? We list them all here in anticipation of the next affiliation dance, due for the 2021 season.

These are highly unusual times, as reflected in the uncertainty surrounding the state of Minor League Baseball in 2021 and beyond. To wit: with the expiration of the most recent Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, MLB has announced it would be assuming control of MiLB and contracting MiLB from 160 teams to 120 teams. The MiLB league structures would be overhauled:

LOW A
California League (8 teams)
Florida State League (10 teams)
Sally League (12 teams)

HIGH A
Midwest League
Northwest League
Carolina League
New Mid-Atlantic League

The California League would remain at eight teams, while the Florida State League would cut back to 10 teams and the Sally League to 12 teams. It’s less clear how the new High-A circuits would be arranged, save a cutback to the Northwest League to six teams, and there may be teams moving between the Low-A Sally League and the High-A Carolina League and a new Mid-Atlantic League. In particular, the Carolina League may end up being a real Carolina League. Affiliations would be 10 years, though some teams targeted for a five-year provisional license, with renewal contingent on ballpark upgrades.

The following Affiliate Dance table has a lot of question marks, reflecting what’s been formally announced (in bold) and what is expected to happen, including shifts between leagues, the addition of new teams and the restructuring of leagues. You can read more about what’s happening here.

Bold = affiliation deal has been announced

Class AAA Current Team Future Team? Status
Albuquerque Rockies Rockies Expected to renew
Buffalo Blue Jays Blue Jays Expected to renew
Charlotte White Sox White Sox Expected to renew
Columbus Indians Indians Expected to renew
Durham Rays Rays Expected to renew
El Paso Padres Padres Expected to renew
Fresno Nationals Rockies? Offered move to Low-A Cal League
Gwinnett Braves Braves Owned by Braves
Indianapolis Pirates Pirates Expected to renew
Iowa Cubs Cubs Expected to renew
Las Vegas Athletics Athletics Expected to renew
Lehigh Valley Phillies Phillies Expected to renew
Louisville Reds Reds Expected to renew
Memphis Cardinals Cardinals Partly owned by Cardinals
Nashville Rangers Brewers, mystery team? Interesting twist
Norfolk Orioles Orioles Expected to renew
Oklahoma City Dodgers Dodgers Expected to renew; partly owned by Dodgers owners
Omaha Royals Royals Expected to renew
Reno D-Backs D-Backs Expected to renew
Rochester Twins Washington New deal in place
Round Rock Astros Rangers Interesting twist
Sacramento Giants Giants Expected to renew
Salt Lake Angels Angels Expected to renew
St. Paul N/A Twins Saints move from indy American Association to become top Twins farm team
San Antonio Brewers ? Reportedly moving to Double-A Texas League
S/W-B Yankees Yankees Partly owned by parent Yankees
Sugar Land N/A Astros Skeeters jump to Triple-A from Atlantic League
Syracuse Mets Mets Owned by New York Mets
Tacoma Mariners Mariners Expected to renew
Toledo Tigers Tigers Expected to renew
Wichita Marlins Twins Moving to Double-A Texas League
Worcester Red Sox Red Sox Expected to renew
Class AA
Akron Indians Indians Expected to renew
Altoona Pirates Pirates Expected to renew
Amarillo Padres Padres Expected to renew
Arkansas Mariners Mariners Expected to renew
Biloxi Brewers Brewers Expected to renew
Binghamton Mets Mets Will continue to be Mets farm team
Birmingham White Sox White Sox Expected to renew
Bowie Orioles Orioles ?
Chattanooga Reds Reds Expected to renew
Corpus Christi Astros Astros Owned by Astros
Erie Tigers Tigers Expected to renew
Frisco Rangers Rangers Expected to renew
Harrisburg Nationals Nationals Expected to renew
Hartford Rockies Rockies Expected to renew
Jackson D-Backs D-Backs Expected to renew
Jacksonville Marlins Marlins Moving to Triple-A as Marlins affiliate
Midland Athletics Athletics Expected to renew
Mississippi Braves Braves Owned by Braves
Montgomery Rays Rays Expected to renew
New Hampshire Blue Jays Blue Jays Expected to renew
NW Arkansas Royals Royals Expected to renew
Pensacola Twins Marlins The Marlins revamp their farm system
Portland Red Sox Red Sox Expected to renew
Reading Phillies Phillies Signed in perpetuity, as Phillies are partial owner
Richmond Giants Giants Giants will return
Rocket City Angels Angels Expected to renew
Somerset None Yankees Somerset replaces Trenton in Double-A
Springfield Cards Cards Owned by Cards
Tennessee Cubs Cubs Expected to renew
Trenton Yankees None MLB Draft League
Tulsa Dodgers Dodgers Expected to renew
High A
Bradenton Pirates Pirates Owned by Pirates; FSL shifting to Low A
Carolina Brewers Brewers Owned by Brewers; shifting to Low A
Charlotte Rays ? ?
Clearwater Phillies Phillies Owned by Phillies; FSL shifting to Low A
Daytona Reds Reds FSL shifting to Low A; team looks to make the cut
Down East Rangers Rangers Owned by Rangers; shifting to Low A
Dunedin Blue Jays Blue Jays Owned by Blue Jays; FSL shifting to Low A
Fayetteville Astros Astros Owned by Astros
Florida Braves ? Gone daddy gone
Frederick Orioles ? ?
Fredericksburg Nationals Nationals? Expected to renew
Fort Myers Twins Twins FSL shifting to Low A
Hudson Valley Rays Yankees Shifting to High-A from NY-Penn League
Inland Empire Angels Angels Expected to renew; Cal League moving to Low A
Jupiter Marlins Marlins Owned by Marlins; FSL shifting to Low A
Lake Elsinore Padres Padres Expected to renew; Cal League moving to Low A
Lakeland Tigers Tigers Owned by Tigers; FSL shifting to Low A
Lancaster Rockies ? ?
Lynchburg Indians Indians Expected to renew
Modesto Mariners Mariners Majority owned by Mariners; Cal League moving to Low A
Myrtle Beach Cubs Cubs Expected to renew; team will shift to Low A
Palm Beach Cardinals Cardinals Owned by Cardinals; FSL shifting to Low A
Rancho Cucamonga Dodgers Dodgers Expected to renew; Cal League moving to Low A
St. Lucie Mets Mets Owned by Mets; FSL shifting to Low A
Salem Red Sox Red Sox Owned by Red Sox
San Jose Giants Giants In perpetuity; partially owned by Giants; Cal League moving to Low A
Stockton A’s A’s Expected to renew; Cal League moving to Low A
Tampa Yankees Yankees Owned by Yankees; shifting to Low A
Visalia D-Backs D-Backs? Expected to renew; Cal League moving to Low A
Wilmington Royals ? May end up with East Coast affiliation
Winston-Salem White Sox White Sox In perpetuity; partly owned by White Sox
Low A
Asheville Rockies Marlins New affiliation in the works
Augusta Giants ? Move of Cal League to High A means Giants will have San Jose Giants as affiliate
Beloit Athletics Athletics, Astros? Midwest League moving to High A
Bowling Green Rays ? Final classification TBA
Burlington Angels ? ?
Cedar Rapids Twins Twins Midwest League moving to High A
Charleston Yankees Rays? New affiliation in the works
Clinton Marlins ? ?
Columbia Mets ? Look to AL Central team
Dayton Reds Reds Signed in perpetuity; Midwest League moving to High A
Delmarva Orioles ? ?
Fort Wayne Padres ? Midwest League moving to High A
Great Lakes Dodgers ? Midwest League moving to High A
Greensboro Pirates Pirates Expected to renew
Greenville Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox expected to return
Hagerstown Nationals Will not be affiliated in 2021 MLB Draft League?
Hickory Rangers Rangers Owned by Rangers; will shift to High A
Jersey Shore Phillies Phillies Would need to shift to High A as a Phillies affiliate
Kane County D-Backs ? Midwest League moving to High A
Kannapolis White Sox White Sox Expected to renew
Lake County Indians Indians Midwest League moving to High A
Lansing Blue Jays Blue Jays? Midwest League moving to High A
Lexington Royals ? ?
Peoria Cardinals Cardinals Midwest League moving to High A
Quad Cities Astros ? Midwest League moving to High A
Rome Braves Braves Owned by Braves
South Bend Cubs Cubs Midwest League moving to High A
West Michigan Tigers Tigers Midwest League moving to High A
West Virginia Mariners ? Too soon to know
Wisconsin Brewers Brewers Midwest League moving to High A
Short Season (to be phased out)
Aberdeen Orioles Orioles Fate of NY-Penn League to be determined; Aberdeen could end up High A or Showcase League/MLB Draft League
Auburn Nats ? ?
Batavia Marlins ? ?
Boise Rockies Rockies? Northwest League moving to High A
Brooklyn Mets Mets Moving to High A
Connecticut Tigers ? May end up in indy league
Eugene Cubs ? Northwest League moving to High A, but Cubs will depart
Everett Mariners Mariners Expected to renew; Northwest League moving to High A
Hillsboro D-Backs D-Backs Expected to renew; Northwest League moving to High A
Lowell Red Sox ? ?
Mahoning Valley Indians MLB Draft League
Salem-Keizer Giants ? ?
Spokane Rangers ? Northwest League moving to High A
State College Cardinals MLB Draft League
Staten Island Yankees None Atlantic League discussed
Tri-City Dust Devils Padres Angels? Northwest League moving to High A
Tri-City ValleyCats Astros ? Will reportedly stay in professional independent ball
Vancouver Blue Jays Blue Jays, Athletics? Northwest League moving to High A
Vermont A’s ? Indy Frontier League
West Virginia Pirates MLB Draft League
Williamsport Phillies MLB Draft League
Rookie (to be phased out)
Billings Reds None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Bluefield Blue Jays None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Bristol Pirates None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Burlington Royals None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Colorado Springs Brewers None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Danville Braves None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Elizabethton Twins None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Grand Junction Rockies None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Great Falls White Sox None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Greeneville Reds None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Idaho Falls Royals None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Johnson City Cards None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Kingsport Mets None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Missoula D-Backs None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Northern Colorado Angels None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Ogden Dodgers None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Princeton Rays None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded
Pulaski Yankees None Shifting to summer-collegiate ball; will be rebranded

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