The Sugar Land Skeeters will become the Astros’ new Triple-A affiliate, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports. The two sides reached an agreement in which the Astros will have an ownership stake in the Skeeters, according to Berman. The length of the deal isn’t known yet.
This is a big step for the Skeeters, a Texas-based team that has been an independent club in the Atlantic League since its inception in 2010. They’ve had a number of familiar major league names on their roster since then, including Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Scott Kazmir. With no minors campaign in 2020, the Skeeters launched the four-team Constellation Energy League, which they won with help from some ex-major leaguers you may recognize when looking at their roster.
The fact that the Astros have a new Triple-A team will leave the Round Rock Express with some uncertainty. Round Rock spent the previous two years as Houston’s top minor league club, though it only got one season of play (2019) because of the pandemic.