The Nationals, who previously were affiliated with the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), are just the fourth parent for the Red Wings, joining the Cardinals (1928-1960), Orioles (1961-2002) and Twins (2003-2020). The Nationals will become the first National League affiliate of the Wings since the Cardinals.
“We are thrilled to announce our new affiliation with the Washington Nationals. With having had only three previous Major League affiliates, this represents an historic change for the Red Wings. I think our fans will enjoy the geographic closeness of the two cities, making it easy to follow their favorite players to the Big Leagues, and it’s exciting to have this new relationship with the team from the Nation’s Capital. Even more so, this is a fine organization with great ownership and baseball operations people, and we are looking forward to working with them as we move on to the next chapter in Red Wings history. We want to thank Senator Chuck Schumer for his advocacy of the Red Wings in helping to secure this affiliation by speaking directly with the Commissioner of Baseball and the Nationals’ managing principal owner, Mark Lerner. His support has been very important to us,” said Red Wings President/CEO/COO Naomi Silver said in a press statement.
According to several MLB and MiLB sources, the status of the Red Wings was part of recent discussions in the reconfiguration of Minor League Baseball under new overlords Minor League Baseball. One proposal on the table had the Red Wings shifting to the Double-A Eastern League, with the Richmond Flying Squirrels moving to Triple-A as the top Nationals affiliation. That shift was rejected for a few reasons, one being the condition of The Diamond in Richmond as well the affects on other teams involved in affiliation shifts to make this switch happen.
“We are very excited to partner with the Rochester Red Wings and to have our Triple-A affiliate back in the region,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo said in a press statement. “The Red Wings are a well-built, well-run organization that will be an asset to our player development system and we are proud to be a part of Rochester, New York’s rich baseball tradition that dates back to the late 1800’s.”
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