In something of a surprise move, the Brewers and San Antonio Missions have announced today that they’ve line up on a two-year player development contract. This will be the first year that the Missions will function as a Triple-A club after the Colorado Springs SkySox decided to move their operations there.
Ultimately, then, the Brewers will have the opportunity to tap into a big new market while continuing to work with the same minor-league outfit that had hosted their highest-level affiliate in Colorado. While the San Antonio organization’s ballpark is still in need of some upgrades, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that there are plans in place to get the stadium up to full speed.
This news brings the affiliation matching dance down to just two teams on either side. Among major-league clubs, the Rangers will now place their top affiliate outside of Texas, while the Nationals are also still without a mate. Those two organizations will surely prefer Nashville — which lies just under 700 miles between both Arlington, TX and Washington, DC — to far-off Fresno, California.
How’d we get to this point? Nashville, of course, had been the site of the Brewers’ Triple-A club for some time before the minor-league outfit terminated the relationship. With an appealing setup, including a new park, the Sounds ended up lining up with the Athletics. But now the Oakland club is going to Las Vegas, which had been abandoned by the Mets when they bought the Nats’ former Syracuse affiliate. As for Fresno, its relationship with the Astros ended when the Houston club saw a chance to link up with former Rangers’ affiliate Round Rock.