Minnesota Twins officials met yesterday with the board of directors of the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low Class A; Midwest League) and will meet with at least one more Midwest League team today, as the affiliate dance continues.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette is reporting that an affiliate deal between the Twins and Kernels is a done deal, but we’re not so sure; it would be unlike the Twins front office to make a decision on something like a regional affiliate without exploring all options. Hence the meeting today with another Iowa team. UPDATE: Twins farm director Jim Rantz says no papers have been signed with the Kernels, but a press conference is set for tomorrow in Cedar Rapids.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen so many teams in play in a given league: in Low Class A, you have the Beloit Snappers, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Kane County Cougars, Peoria Chiefs and Quad Cities River Bandits (all Midwest League) and the Hagerstown Suns and Lexington Legends (both Sally League) without parents. You also have the Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Houston Astros looking for new farm teams. But just keep a few things in mind:
- Despite a Chicago newspaper proclaiming a deal between the Cubs and the Cougars a done deal, no PDC has been announced. Why? Because, duh, it’s not a done deal. Take a close look at the Cubs front office and the two guys in charge of this decision: GM Jed Hoyer and SVP scouting/player development Jason McLeod. Both came from the San Diego Padres, where they got to know the Fort Wayne TinCaps operation pretty well. In any case, look for the dominoes to fall once Fort Wayne settles on a new affiliate.
- We continue to hear the Kansas City Royals are looking at a move to the Sally League with the Lexington Legends.
- Usually there’s a good chance two teams walking away from an affiliation come back after the dust settles and no better alternatives exist. But barring some sort of miracle we think there’s little change the Bees and A’s, Twins and Snappers or the River Bandits and Cardinals end up affiliated for 2013-2014.
- There’s a definite pecking order in the Midwest League when it comes to the desirability of affiliates. Fort Waye is seen as the big catch, with a second tier that includes Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Peoria and Kane County (in that order).
In any case, it should be interesting to see what affiliation matches pop up at Class A in coming days.
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