Another affiliation change has taken place at the Double-A level, as the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) have agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The two-year pact runs through the 2018 season.
Across the Double-A ranks, there has been a shuffle that has affected teams in both the Southern and Texas leagues. The Jackson Generals (Southern League) signed an agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Seattle Mariners came to terms with the Arkansas Travelers. Prior to these changes, the Mariners were in Jackson while the D-Backs had an agreement with the BayBears.
The Angels reached an agreement with the BayBears following a 16-season stint as the Major League affiliate club of the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. During that time the Travelers won the 2001 and 2008 Texas League Championship along with five division championships.
In the past 10 seasons, more than 70 players from the Angels “AA” Affiliate have made it to the Major Leagues, including 5-time All-Star, Hank Aaron Award Winner, and 2014 American League MVP, Mike Trout.
“The Los Angeles Angels are very excited to begin a partnership with the Mobile BayBears,” Angels General Manager Billy Eppler said. “This will be a great home for our Double-A players and staff.”
“We are thrilled to be entering into this new partnership with the Los Angeles Angels,” BayBears General Manager Chris Morgan said. “Billy Eppler and the Angels front office is dedicated to developing quality players at the minor league level and everyone associated with the BayBears organization will work tirelessly to provide a positive environment for this development.”
The new affiliation ends a 10-year era during which the Arizona Diamondbacks fielded teams at Hank Aaron Stadium. This followed a decade-long partnership with the San Diego Padres, the original Major League parent club of the BayBears. This is the first time in the BayBears 20-year history that it will be an American League affiliate.