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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 Confirmed
Buffalo Blue Jays Blue Jays Confirmed
Charlotte White Sox White Sox Confirmed
Columbus Indians Indians Confirmed
Durham Rays Rays Confirmed
El Paso Padres Padres Confirmed
Fresno Nationals Rockies Confirmed; will move to Cal League
Gwinnett Braves Braves Owned by Braves
Indianapolis Pirates Pirates Confirmed
Iowa Cubs Cubs Confirmed
Las Vegas Athletics Athletics Confirmed
Lehigh Valley Phillies Phillies Confirmed
Louisville Reds Reds Confirmed
Memphis Cardinals Cardinals Confirmed; partly owned by Cardinals
Nashville Rangers Brewers Confirmed
Norfolk Orioles Orioles Confirmed
Oklahoma City Dodgers Dodgers Confirmed; partly owned by Dodgers owners
Omaha Royals Royals Confirmed
Reno D-Backs D-Backs Confirmed
Rochester Twins Washington New deal in place
Round Rock Astros Rangers Confirmed
Sacramento Giants Giants Confirmed
Salt Lake Angels Angels Confirmed
St. Paul N/A Twins Confirmed; Saints move from indy American Association to become top Twins farm team
San Antonio Brewers Padres Confirmed; moving to Double-A Texas League
S/W-B Yankees Yankees Partly owned by parent Yankees
Sugar Land N/A Astros Confirmed; Skeeters jump to Triple-A from Atlantic League
Syracuse Mets Mets Confirmed; owned by New York Mets
Tacoma Mariners Mariners Confirmed
Toledo Tigers Tigers Confirmed
Wichita Marlins Twins Confirmed; moving to Double-A Texas League
Worcester Red Sox Red Sox Confirmed
Class AA
Akron Indians Indians Confirmed
Altoona Pirates Pirates Confirmed
Amarillo Padres D-Backs Confirmed
Arkansas Mariners Mariners Confirmed
Biloxi Brewers Brewers Confirmed
Binghamton Mets Mets Will continue to be Mets farm team
Birmingham White Sox White Sox Confirmed
Bowie Orioles Orioles Confirmed
Chattanooga Reds Reds Confirmed
Corpus Christi Astros Astros Confirmed; owned by Astros
Erie Tigers Tigers Confirmed
Frisco Rangers Rangers Confirmed
Harrisburg Nationals Nationals Confirmed
Hartford Rockies Rockies Confirmed
Jackson D-Backs Out of affiliated ball
Jacksonville Marlins Marlins Confirmed; moving to Triple-A as Marlins affiliate
Midland Athletics Athletics Confirmed
Mississippi Braves Braves Owned by Braves
Montgomery Rays Rays Confirmed
New Hampshire Blue Jays Blue Jays Confirmed
NW Arkansas Royals Royals Confirmed
Pensacola Twins Marlins Confirmed
Portland Red Sox Red Sox Confirmed
Reading Phillies Phillies Confirmed; Phillies are partial owner
Richmond Giants Giants Confirmed
Rocket City Angels Angels Confirmed
Somerset None Yankees Somerset replaces Trenton in Double-A
Springfield Cardinals Cardinals Confirmed
Tennessee Cubs Cubs Confirmed
Trenton Yankees None MLB Draft League
Tulsa Dodgers Dodgers Confirmed
High A
Bradenton Pirates Pirates Confirmed; Owned by Pirates; FSL shifting to Low A
Carolina Brewers Brewers Owned by Brewers; shifting to Low A
Charlotte Rays Out of affiliated ball; team shut down
Clearwater Phillies Phillies Confirmed; owned by Phillies; FSL shifting to Low A
Daytona Reds Reds Confirmed; FSL shifting to Low A
Down East Rangers Rangers Confirmed; owned by Rangers; shifting to Low A
Dunedin Blue Jays Blue Jays Confirmed; owned by Blue Jays; FSL shifting to Low A
Fayetteville Astros Astros Confirmed; owned by Astros
Florida Braves Out of affiliated ball; team shut down
Frederick Orioles MLB Draft League
Fredericksburg Nationals Nationals Confirmed; team will drop to Low A
Fort Myers Twins Twins Confirmed; FSL shifting to Low A
Hudson Valley Rays Yankees Shifting to High-A from NY-Penn League
Inland Empire Angels Angels Confirmed; Cal League moving to Low A
Jupiter Marlins Marlins Confirmed; owned by Marlins; FSL shifting to Low A
Lake Elsinore Padres Padres Confirmed; Cal League moving to Low A
Lakeland Tigers Tigers Confirmed; FSL shifting to Low A
Lancaster Rockies Out of affiliated ball
Lynchburg Indians Indians Confirmed
Modesto Mariners Mariners Confirmed. Majority owned by Mariners; Cal League moving to Low A
Myrtle Beach Cubs Cubs Confirmed; team will shift to Low A
Palm Beach Cardinals Cardinals Confirmed; owned by Cardinals; FSL shifting to Low A
Rancho Cucamonga Dodgers Dodgers Confirmed; Cal League moving to Low A
St. Lucie Mets Mets Owned by Mets; FSL shifting to Low A
Salem Red Sox Red Sox Confirmed; owned by Red Sox; will shift to Low A
San Jose Giants Giants Confirmed; partially owned by Giants; Cal League moving to Low A
Stockton A’s A’s Confirmed; Cal League moving to Low A
Tampa Yankees Yankees Owned by Yankees; shifting to Low A
Visalia D-Backs D-Backs Confirmed; Cal League moving to Low A
Wilmington Royals Nationals Confirmed
Winston-Salem White Sox White Sox Confirmed; partly owned by White Sox
Low A
Asheville Rockies Astros Confirmed
Augusta Giants Braves Confirmed
Beloit Athletics Marlins Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Bowling Green Rays Rays Confirmed; moving to new league and High A
Burlington Angels Out of affiliated ball
Cedar Rapids Twins Twins Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Charleston Yankees Rays Confirmed
Clinton Marlins Out of affiliated ball; joined summer-collegiate Prospect League
Columbia Mets Royals Confirmed
Dayton Reds Reds Confirmed; signed in perpetuity; Midwest League moving to High A
Delmarva Orioles Orioles Confirmed
Fort Wayne Padres Padres Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Great Lakes Dodgers Dodgers Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Greensboro Pirates Pirates Confirmed
Greenville Red Sox Red Sox Confirmed; Drive will move to High A
Hagerstown Nationals Out of affiliated ball
Hickory Rangers Rangers Confirmed; owned by Rangers; will shift to High A
Jersey Shore Phillies Phillies Confirmed; shifting to High A as a Phillies affiliate
Kane County D-Backs Out of affiliated ball
Kannapolis White Sox White Sox Confirmed
Lake County Indians Indians Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Lansing Blue Jays Oakland Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Lexington Royals Out of affiliated ball
Peoria Cardinals Cardinals Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Quad Cities Astros Royals Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Rome Braves Braves Owned by Braves; will move to High A
South Bend Cubs Cubs Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
West Michigan Tigers Tigers Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
West Virginia Mariners Out of affiliated ball
Wisconsin Brewers Brewers Confirmed; Midwest League moving to High A
Short Season (to be phased out)
Aberdeen Orioles Orioles Confirmed; moving to Mid-Atlantic High A league
Auburn Nats Out of affiliated ball
Batavia Marlins Out of affiliated ball
Boise Rockies None Part of new independent Pioneer League
Brooklyn Mets Mets Confirmed; Moving to High A
Connecticut Tigers May end up in indy league
Eugene Cubs Giants Confirmed; Northwest League moving to High A
Everett Mariners Mariners Confirmed; Northwest League moving to High A
Hillsboro D-Backs D-Backs Confirmed; Northwest League moving to High A
Lowell Red Sox MLB Draft League?
Mahoning Valley Indians MLB Draft League
Salem-Keizer Giants Out of affiliated ball
Spokane Rangers Rockies Confirmed
State College Cardinals MLB Draft League
Staten Island Yankees None Atlantic League discussed
Tri-City Dust Devils Padres Angels Confirmed; Northwest League moving to High A
Tri-City ValleyCats Astros Joining Frontier League
Vancouver Blue Jays Blue Jays Confirmed; 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; will sit out 2021 season
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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