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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

St. Paul Saints to become Twins’ top minor-league team; Class AA in Wichita

The reorganization of Minor League Baseball is expected to be announced as soon as Tuesday, with the Twins reaching deals to have their top affiliates in St. Paul and Wichita, Kan.

The St. Paul Saints will leave independent baseball to become the Class AAA team for the Twins. What’s unclear is if the Saints are paying the entire cost of entering affiliated ball — reports over the summer indicated a cost of as much as $20 million — or if the Twins will contribute.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli fueled speculation Saturday when posted a video on his Twitter feed thanking fans for their support while wearing a Saints cap. The Twins’ Class AAA site had been in Rochester, N.Y., which will now house the Nationals’ top farm team.

The Class AA affiliate will switch from Pensacola, Fla., to Wichita. According to the Wichita Eagle, the announcement will be met with disappointment in a city that raised taxes to help pay for $75 million Riverfront Stadium to try and lure a Class AAA team.

The Wind Surge would leave the Pacific Coast League without having played a AAA game — it was based in New Orleans before 2020, and the past minor league season was wiped out by the pandemic — for the Class AA Texas League.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 09:31 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: twins

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   1. Mike Webber Posted: December 01, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5991813)
Tim Grubbs the voice of the Wichita Wind Surge came to the KC SABR meeting last January. Grubbs told the group about the Wind Surge’s move from New Orleans to their new home in Wichita. He had spent the last 17 years as the voice of the New Orleans AAA club. He also had side gigs doing college basketball and whatnot for ESPN, which I suppose he could still do but they likely already have people in the area for that. And some of the whatnot, like beach volley ball, seems less likely to be a thing in New Orleans.

I imagine he went through several affiliation changes in New Orleans, so this is likely old hat for him. AA Texas League might be better travel wise than what he was facing in AAA too.
   2. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5991821)
Any news about what league the Saints will play in? I would imagine they take the centrally located AAA teams (Des Moines, Omaha, Round Rock, Sugarland, Nashville, Memphis, Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus, Toledo?) and group them together.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5991825)
I thought that was the plan, but BA had an article that said it would likely just be the PCL and IL again.
   4. Mike Webber Posted: December 01, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5991828)
Owner A Hole "Let's save money by cutting teams"
Owner B Hole "We could make a AAA mid-west league, that's essentially a bus league to save costs too."
Owner D Hole "Screw that, let's have half the teams in the Pacific Time Zone and Half in the Central Time Zone, Southwest Airlines points for everybody!"
   5. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2020 at 06:51 PM (#5991933)
We used to call that the American Association. Having gone under and been absorbed by the PCL once,** maybe there was no enthusiasm for reviving it.

** The "vague memory" part of my brain thinks the AA may have briefly gone under a long time ago as well but (a) it might be wrong or (b) it may have just required rescue.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: December 01, 2020 at 06:56 PM (#5991935)
We used to call that the American Association. Having gone under and been absorbed by the PCL once,** maybe there was no enthusiasm for reviving it.

The name is now used by the independent league the St. Paul Saints played in last year - the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
   7. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5992051)
Man, I think I was just now beginning to cement in my head that the Twins' affiliate in Rochester was located in Rochester, NY, as opposed to Rochester, MN.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5992054)
Bill Murray is now part of the Twins organization.

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