A lot is changing within the Major League Baseball minor league system, which is expected to cut 40+ teams from affiliate-status this week. With those changes, the Saint Paul Saints will leave independent baseball to become the Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate.
That’s not the only change. Last offseason, the Twins switched their AA club from Chattanooga (Lookouts) to Pensacola (Blue Wahoos) but that will change again TGIF 2021. The new AA affiliate will be in Wichita, Kansas (all of this via the Star Tribune).
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.Star Tribune
Other Minnesota affiliates are expected to remain in place, and where they are (Cedar Rapids, Fort Myers). Having their main three minor league teams within driving distance to Minneapolis will be a big bonus, especially with the AAA club right across the river.
It’ll be a great attraction for Twins’ fans who want to watch the next wave of talent before it hits the big leagues, too. This is a good situation all around and I think everyone is glad it could come to fruition.
Unruly in Wichita
These moves aren’t without some consternation. We don’t know if the Saints will have to foot the $20 million dollars it takes to join the AAA affiliate market, or if the Twins will contribute. I’m not sure the Saints were worth $20 million before this announcement, so that seems odd. Carl Pohlad can pull that out of his pocket for a valet tip.
Meanwhile, Wichita is pissed off because they weren’t able to convince a AAA team to become the “Wind Surge”. That nickname is real. The Wichita tax-payers contributed to a $75 million stadium that Twins AA prospects will now get to play in. That’s a nice bonus for the Twins organization.
The “Wind Surge” is a pretty decent minor league team name but I’m not sure anyone can compete with the name of the last Twins’ AA affiliate, though…
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan