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Grassley: Three Iowa teams safe from contraction

Minor League Baseball logoU.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says three Iowa teams–the Iowa Cubs (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), Cedar Rapids Kernels and Quad Cities River Bandits (both Low A; Midwest League)–are safe from contraction after communication with MLB officials.

As negotiations continue between MLB and MiLB reps largely along the lines we reported in April, there’s been little public discussion of how MiLB will get to 120. Grassley’s statement comes after a call between him and Major League Baseball deputy commissioner Dan Halem, with Halem assuring the senator those three Iowa teams would be safe. The news was not as good for the Burlington Bees and the Clinton LumberKings (both Low A; Midwest League), both of which had been previously identified as targets of contraction. From the statement:

“I reiterated the important part Minor League teams play in their communities and the great economic impact they have in their regions,” Grassley said in a statement released by his office. “We talked about all of Iowa’s Minor League teams, particularly the Clinton LumberKings and the Burlington Bees, which are rumored to be under consideration for contraction.”

From the Quad City Times: “To have a United States senator of 40 years with the integrity of Senator Grassley saying this is what Dan Halem told him is significant,” [River Bandits owner] Heller said. “A lot has changed in the world in the last few months and to be reassured that Quad-Cities will continue to be part of affiliated baseball is good news.”

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