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Year-end countdown: #1, Affiliate Dance

Minor League Baseball logoWe end our review of the top ten stories covered on Ballpark Digest in 2014 with the top story of the year: the MLB/MiLB affiliate dance.

Every two years there’s a shakeup of MLB and MiLB affiliations, as both sides seek new partners for the next two years or more. Some MLB/MiLB relationships are set in stone — Boston/Pawtucket, Cincinnati/Dayton — while others are subject to continual negotiation, even if there’s a renewal of an existing player-development contract.

This year saw some pretty dramatic changes on the affiliation front, as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies took advantage of negotiating windows to overhaul their affiliates:

All in all, there were six affiliate shifts at Triple-A — a surprising number, as there’s usually very few affiliate shifts at that level. Perhaps the most interesting shift had the San Francisco Giants leave the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) for the Sacramento River Cats (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and the Oakland Athletics leaving the River Cats for the Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). It was a shift that could benefit both teams: it gives San Francisco an even bigger media presence in the Bay Area, and the A’s will be able to develop talent at a new, shiny facility in Nashville.

You can check out all the affiliate shifts here.

As noted, we’re running down the top 10 stories of 2014 on Ballpark Digest. Previously:

#2, 1919 World Series film footage
#3, Montreal and MLB
#4, Simmons Field restorations
#5, a unique ballpark proposal
#6, New Oakland A’s ballpark
#7, Petco Park upgrades
#8, new Charlotte/El Paso ballparks
#9, ugly Christmas unis
#10, Fifth Third Ballpark fire

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