A change may be in the works for the Miami Marlins minor league affiliates.
Although nothing official has been publicized at this time, Miami’s single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League may be on the move. The Greensboro Grasshoppers affiliation with the Miami Marlins expires with the conclusion of the 2018 campaign.
As reported by Bob Sutton on thetimesnews.com,
"Grasshoppers president and general manager Donald Moore said he isn’t allowed to discuss potential developments regarding affiliation. However, there’s speculation that there will be a change in Greensboro."
Over the 16 seasons of the Miami Marlins association with the Grasshoppers, there was always an agreement in place by the close of the season. That’s not so in 2018.
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As to where the Marlins single-A affiliate ends up – double- and triple-switches happen, although not as often as they used to. Grayson Stadium in downtown Savannah remains empty since the Sand Gnats vacated following the 2015 season, which is a compelling option.
In addition to that, Miami’s triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate, the New Orleans Baby Cakes, have filed with Minor League Baseball to relocate, probably to Wichita, KS.
The affiliate agreement between the Marlins and Baby Cakes runs through 2020. That would either be their first season in Wichita or the final one at the Shrine (if ballpark construction is delayed). These partnerships are typically extended/renewed for two years at a time.
According to Ely Sussman at fishstripes.com:
"The affiliate agreement between the Marlins and Baby Cakes runs through 2020. That would either be their first season in Wichita or the final one at the Shrine (if ballpark construction is delayed). These partnerships are typically extended/renewed for two years at a time."
And these two developments follow last season’s NYPL drama, where the Batavia Muckdogs agreement with the Rochester Red Wings expired. Zach Spedden at ballparkdigest.com reported late last year:
"Under a 10-year agreement, the Red Wings handled operations for the Muckdogs, who are owned by the Genesee County Baseball Club. In the event of a sale–something that has been discussed, as the Muckdogs have been on the market for several years–the Red Wings were to receive 5% of the proceeds for each year that they operated the club."
Of course, the Muckdogs stayed in Batavia, and remained affiliated with the Miami Marlins. They’ll remain so again through the 2019 campaign as well.
The Jupiter Hammerheads in the FSL and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the SL? No news is good news on that front. Both teams have contracts in place to continue to be a part of the Miami Marlins system.
So what’s going on? Nobody really knows for sure at this point, but things are almost kinda sorta maybe happening. Keep it dialed in here at Marlin Maniac for new developments as the offseason passes.