All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > AAA affiliates
6/20/2013 4:10 PM (edited)
I was doing research for a theme league and as usual it led to a discussion thread.  I was looking at minor league teams and their affiliated big league club and it appears there have been quite a few changes in 2013.

I was thinking about the recent call up of Mike Zunino from my hometown Mariners, and thought it was very convenient that their AAA team in Tacoma is only about 45 minutes away, which greatly reduces travel costs/time, but also the Mariners coaches & GM can go watch home games to get a good look at players.

There are quite a few big league club that have their AAA team within short driving distance but others make no sense (Mets in Las Vegas?).  Why do AAA affiliations change so often?  You'd think they would want to build a long term relationship with the MLB team!
6/20/2013 4:43 PM
I think there are a couple issues:

1) Sometimes options are limited. Vegas was the A's at one point, I think, then it was the Jays, then Mets. It's a hitters park, so I think some organizations don't like their pitchers there. It seems to be the last resort for teams that don't have an affiliate yet.

2) Corporate relationships. I don't know the details, but the O's were with Rochester for years before a falling out. Norfolk is much closer and works out well, but from what I understand, their relationship with the Red Wings just went south for some reason.

One thing I've always wondered about is if a team could potentially start a new affiliate somewhere and have ownership of the team, or if that's forbidden by MLB.
6/20/2013 4:48 PM
You can start a new affiliate if you want, MLB doesn't care about that, the hardest part is convincing a league to take on a new member, but it happens from time to time...
6/20/2013 5:00 PM

DODGERS WERE VEGAS FOR A COUPLE. SAW EDWIN JACKSON PITCH THERE

6/20/2013 5:04 PM
Nobody wants Vegas.  It's always the last option for teams.

AAA affiliates don't have to re-up contracts with MLB teams.  The Mets, for example, don't have a good reputation of being good partners.  They haven't communicated well, don't always care about putting up a winning AAA team (getting the roster filler that they know they'll never use at the ML level, but help the team win games), etc.  So they've bounced around a lot lately.  They were "cut" from Buffalo and the only spot available was Vegas.  So there you go.
6/20/2013 5:56 PM
Posted by Jtpsops on 6/20/2013 4:43:00 PM (view original):
I think there are a couple issues:

1) Sometimes options are limited. Vegas was the A's at one point, I think, then it was the Jays, then Mets. It's a hitters park, so I think some organizations don't like their pitchers there. It seems to be the last resort for teams that don't have an affiliate yet.

2) Corporate relationships. I don't know the details, but the O's were with Rochester for years before a falling out. Norfolk is much closer and works out well, but from what I understand, their relationship with the Red Wings just went south for some reason.

One thing I've always wondered about is if a team could potentially start a new affiliate somewhere and have ownership of the team, or if that's forbidden by MLB.
The Blue Jays are now in Buffalo which makes total sense.  Why wouldn't the Mets have their AAA team in Syracuse or Rochester?  Is Vegas an excuse for the Wilpon's to blow more money on a scouting trip???
6/20/2013 5:58 PM
There are lots of AAA affiliates that make sense like Fresno-Giants, Sacramento-A's, Omaha-Royals, Tacoma-Mariners.  It seems by the geography that it's MLB's way of exposing fans to some form of baseball in major cities that do not have a big league team, ie., Indianapolis, Nashville, Charlotte.  Interesting that there are only 2 AAA teams in CA but 5 MLB teams.  Maybe the CA league is enough minor league baseball for one area???
6/20/2013 6:09 PM
METS IN TR-STATE AREA MAKES SENSE, THEY WERE IN TIDEWATER(VIRGINIA) FOR YEARS
6/20/2013 6:10 PM
I think I still have that Gregg Jefferies Tidewater card from about '87 or '88!
6/20/2013 6:11 PM
Rochester is now the Twins affiliate but there are no AAA teams in the great lakes states.  Toledo is the closest which makes sense for them to be the Tigers AAA team.
6/22/2013 5:58 PM
Posted by Jtpsops on 6/20/2013 4:43:00 PM (view original):
I think there are a couple issues:

1) Sometimes options are limited. Vegas was the A's at one point, I think, then it was the Jays, then Mets. It's a hitters park, so I think some organizations don't like their pitchers there. It seems to be the last resort for teams that don't have an affiliate yet.

2) Corporate relationships. I don't know the details, but the O's were with Rochester for years before a falling out. Norfolk is much closer and works out well, but from what I understand, their relationship with the Red Wings just went south for some reason.

One thing I've always wondered about is if a team could potentially start a new affiliate somewhere and have ownership of the team, or if that's forbidden by MLB.
Rochester became upset with the Orioles for the quality of players they were fielding. At one point I heard they were only rostering 22 or 23 and for a AAA team they need to have some quality or some future big names to be able to market themselves and ROchester didnt like it.

They are having similar issues now with the Twins.

6/22/2013 6:52 PM
Baltimore should be upset with the Orioles for the last 15 years!!!
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