The PDC ends a ten-year affiliation between the LumberKings and Seattle Mariners, which was the second-longest affiliation in the franchise’s history. The Marlins will return a Low-A team to the Midwest League following a 16-year stint in the South Atlantic League with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Over their 16 seasons with the Grasshoppers, the Marlins sent some of their most prized prospects through Greensboro leading to three playoff berths, two division titles, and a league championship in 2011.
“The Clinton LumberKings are excited to welcome back to the Midwest League the Miami Marlins,” said LumberKings General Manager Ted Tornow. “This will give our knowledgeable fans a chance to look at the development of National League prospects for the first time in Clinton since 2002. We feel this will be a great partnership for success on the field, in the community, and for the development of these players”
When the Marlins were last in the Midwest League, 1993-2002, they sent some of the biggest names in baseball through their then affiliate, the Kane County Cougars. Triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera, 20-game winner Dontrelle Willis, World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, and perennial All-Star Adrian Gonzalez were some of the 66 names that made it to the Major Leagues from the Marlins last Midwest League affiliate. Cabrera and Gonzalez played together as teammates in 2001 on an 88-win Cougars team that won Kane County’s first ever Midwest League Championship.
“We are looking forward to beginning a new relationship with the Clinton LumberKings,” said the Marlins Director of Player Development Dick Scott. “We are excited to be rejoining the Midwest League.”
The move leaves Seattle and Greensboro without partners. You can read more about the current state of affiliations on our Affiliate Dance page. We expect a number of player development contracts to be renewed in the coming week, but there are always intriguing openings at every level of baseball. As you can see on the Affiliate Dance page, we’re now at the point where MLB and MiLB teams can search for new affiliation options, so there’s always a shuffle of sorts at the end of the season.