Not that baseball is dead at LeLacheur Park: The Spinners team is very much alive and reportedly evaluating options for 2021 and beyond, including a move to independent baseball or, as MLB would clearly prefer, a move as an anchor of a northern division of the summer-collegiate MLB Draft League.
But clearly noting the bad optics in Lowell not landing an affiliated spot, the Boston Red Sox front office says it will work with all parties concerned to keep baseball in Lowell.
“For over a year, we have worked with Congresswoman Trahan, Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue, Major League Baseball, and Lowell Spinners ownership to examine every option that would keep baseball in the City of Lowell,” said Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy via press statement. “We are exploring what form that could take in 2021, and are committed to maintaining the 24-year-long tradition of baseball in the Lowell community. We are grateful to Governor Baker, Senator Markey and Senator Warren for their support of our collective efforts, and look forward to our continued work with Lowell’s public officials as we develop and formalize our plans.”
“Over the past year, my team and I have worked diligently to keep baseball here in Lowell. Like everyone in our community, we know how important the Red Sox are to our city and how valuable Lowell is to the Red Sox,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan via press statement. “Thanks to the commitment of City Manager Donoghue, Senators Markey and Warren, Governor Baker, members of the Save the Spinners Task Force, and fans and supporters throughout the Merrimack Valley, we share that understanding with the Red Sox. We are proud to be working closely with them to not only keep baseball in Lowell, but to also keep the Red Sox in Lowell, and we look forward to announcing our plans once finalized.”
Of course, the easiest way for the Red Sox to assure baseball in Lowell in 2021 and beyond would have been lobbying MLB to grant a spot in the 120 to the Spinners. Beware a next step where the Red Sox reluctantly step in to sponsor a MLB Draft League team in 2021 while regretfully cutting ties with the Spinners while relocating the Salem Red Sox to LeLacheur Park for the 2022 season.
RELATED STORIES: Fresno agrees to Cal League move; 120-team MiLB lineup complete; No changes in Cardinals affiliates for 2021; Giants add Eugene to existing affiliates for 2021; Rangers return to Round Rock for 2021; Oakland adds Lansing to 2021 affiliate lineup; Pirates to bring back top affiliates; Mets confirm 2021 affiliate lineup; White Sox maintain farm system for 2021 and beyond; 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 affiliates; Royals add Quad Cities, Columbia as affiliates; No 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 Amarillo; Tigers announce 2021 affiliates: No change