The Cubs could soon have new affiliates for its Short-Season Low-A, Class Low-A and Class High-A teams.
The Cubs did not renew its Player Development Contracts with Boise, Kane County and Daytona before last Thursday’s deadline and the front office has already informed the Hawks’ GM, Todd Rahr, that the Cubs have decided to look for a new affiliate for its Short-Season Low-A team.
Sean Kernan reported Monday night that the owner of the Daytona Cubs, Andy Rayburn, was informed by Minor League Baseball that the Cubs are looking for a new affiliate for its High-A team and that Daytona’s owner could look for a new MLB team when the negotiating period began Tuesday.
And multiple reports have placed 50-50 odds on the Cubs renewing the Player Development Contract with the Kane County Cougars.
The Affiliate Shuffle has begun throughout baseball and by the time the two week period is over, the Cubs could have three new minor league affiliates.
According to the report from Sean Kernan, there are four teams that are the leading candidates to replace the Cubs in Daytona. The Reds, Braves, Rangers or the Indians could be the next big league team to call Daytona Beach the home of its High-A affiliate. Rayburn told Kernan his team has enjoyed a “friendly relationship with the Cubs” but in order to get a new team as soon as possible the process of landing one would start Tuesday.
Andy Rayburn thinks the Cubs could be looking to move the High-A affiliate to the Carolina League and there could be a fit with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans due to the connection with Theo Epstein. Myrtle Beach is owned by Chuck Greenberg and his son Jeff works in the Cubs front office.
The Kane County Cougars are in wait and see mode as to where they stand with keeping the Cubs Low-A affiliate in Geneva. According to a report from Kevin Druley, the Cubs and Cougars had “on-and-off discussions for over a year” and GM Curtis Haug didn’t know, as of Monday, where they stood with the Cubs. Haug said the Cougars have done everything they could to keep the Cubs Low-A team, and Midwest League Champions, at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
A report last week suggested The South Bend Silver Hawks would try to sell the Cubs on moving its Low-A affiliate from Kane County to South Bend, but it was considered a longshot based on the convenience of the Cubs having a minor league team so close to Chicago.
The Cubs player development contract with Iowa runs through the 2016 season. And the Cubs signed a four-extension with the Tennessee Smokies this season that keeps the Cubs Double-A affiliate in Tennessee through the 2018 season.
Updated 1:28pm CDT – The Cubs announced a two-year extension Tuesday afternoon on the team’s PDC contract with the Iowa Cubs. The extension will keep the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa through the 2018 season.
- Full Report from The Daytona Beach News-Journal
- Full Report from Kane County Chronicle
- Cubs Did Not Renew Player Development Contract with the Boise Hawks – Sept. 12