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White Sox maintain farm system for 2021 and beyond

Invitations went out today to the four existing top affiliates of the Chicago White Sox, all of whom are expected to return: Charlotte Knights, Birmingham Barons, Winston-Salem Dash and Kannapolis Cannon Ballers.

None of the teams are expected to shift affiliation levels.

“We are extremely fortunate to enjoy strong and productive existing relationships with each of our four affiliates in Charlotte, Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis,” said Chris Getz, White Sox director of player development, in a press statement. “Issuing a license invitation to these four outstanding baseball communities is an important first step in Major League Baseball’s process of reshaping the player development system. We have worked closely with MLB on this new structure with minor-league affiliates to ensure a successful and sustained partnership and future for all major and minor-league clubs, our players and the local communities.”

Charlotte has been the White Sox Class AAA affiliate since 1999, winning the International League Championship that season.

“We have received notice from the Chicago White Sox of their intent to issue a Professional Development License to the Knights,” said Dan Rajkowski, chief operating officer of the Charlotte Knights, in a press statement. “Once the PDL is received, our ownership and management team will review the terms and correspond with the White Sox. The Knights look forward to the future of professional baseball in Charlotte.”

“We’re excited and honored to receive the White Sox invitation to continue our partnership,” said Jonathan Nelson, president and general manager of the Barons, in a press statement. “Over the years the Chicago White Sox have provided many great players and teams who have entertained our fans and positively impacted the Birmingham community.”

“We value the long-standing relationship we have had with the Chicago White Sox and will be reviewing the licensing agreement they have provided,” said C.J. Johnson, president and general manager of the Dash, in a press statement. “Winston-Salem has hosted Minor League Baseball since 1905, and we look forward to having professional baseball at Truist Stadium for years to come.”

“We appreciate the invitation from the White Sox to continue their affiliation with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. We have had a terrific relationship with the White Sox since we purchased the team in 2018,” said Andy Sandler, chairman of Temerity Baseball and owner of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, in a press statement.

Here’s the most up-to-date information about the current affiliation status.

RELATED STORIES: Cleveland returns top four affiliates for 2021; Cubs to return four affiliates for 2021; Dodgers: No change in 2021 team affiliates; Padres add San Antonio as new affiliate; Blue Jays choose Vancouver over Lansing; Astros add Asheville Tourists to three existing affiliates; Mariners see no affiliate changes in 2021; Brewers invite Nashville as new Class AAA affiliate; Nationals invite Rochester, Wilmington as new affiliatesRoyals add Quad Cities, Columbia as affiliatesNo changes in Boston Red Sox affiliates; No changes in Philadelphia Phillies farm system; Angels add Tri-City as affiliate, keep rest of system; Rays revamp farm system, adding Charleston and promoting Bowling Green; Twins revamp farm system with new St. Paul, Wichita affiliates; Braves add Augusta to affiliate lineup; D-Backs unveil 2021 affiliates; AA to AmarilloTigers announce 2021 affiliates: No change

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