New minor-league affiliates of all 30 MLB teams, explained (2024)

[Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include developments on the Rockies’ Single-A affiliate.]

The restructuring of the minor leagues came into greater focus on Wednesday as teams across Major League Baseball announced they had extended invitations to 119 minor-league teams, plus one more for a late-holdout in Fresno on Thursday.


Those teams have only been offered spots in the new restructured minor league system; some teams may not accept these invitations, as Evan Drellich explained last week.

Here are the minor-league teams that were announced as receiving invitations on Wednesday:

2021 Minor League invitations

MLB TeamTriple ADouble AHigh ALow A

Arizona Diamondbacks























South Bend

Myrtle Beach







Lake County








West Michigan


Sugar Land

Corpus Christi




Northwest Arkansas

Quad Cities

Columbia, S.C.

Salt Lake

Rocket City


Inland Empire

Oklahoma City


Great Lakes

Rancho Cucamonga









St. Paul


Cedar Rapids

Fort Myers



Hudson Valley





St. Lucie

Las Vegas




Lehigh Valley


Jersey Shore






El Paso

San Antonio

Fort Wayne

Lake Elsinore




San Jose








Palm Beach



Bowling Green


Round Rock



Down East


New Hampshire







What does it mean for your major-league team? Let us explain:

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks didn’t do too much shuffling; three of their four affiliates are ones with whom they’ve had long-standing relationships. They retained the Reno (Nev.) Aces as their Triple-A team and remain affiliated with the Visalia (Calif.) Rawhide, which moves from High A to Low A. Their short-season team was the Hillsboro (Ore.) Hops, a gem of the Northwest League and now Arizona’s High-A club. The biggest change is at the Double-A level, where the Diamondbacks once were schlepping prospects back and forth from the West Coast to Jackson, Tenn., now they must ship them only as far as Amarillo, Texas. (Go Sod Poodles.) That should also help pitchers adjust to the thin air of Reno, as Amarillo enjoys a much more similar climate to Nevada than Tennessee. — Zach Buchanan

Atlanta Braves

The Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett (Ga.) affiliates remain unchanged, while their Low-A Rome (Ga.) affiliate moves up a notch to High A, replacing the defunct Florida State League affiliate. Rome had been Low A since 2003. The newcomer to the organization is the Augusta (Ga.) GreenJackets, which becomes the Low-A affiliate. The GreenJackets, the only one of the four affiliates not owned by the Braves, began operations in 1988 and play in a ballpark built in 2018 across the Savannah River on the South Carolina side of the border with Georgia. The Danville (Virginia) advanced short-season rookie league team is affiliated no more, but will continue in the Appalachian League, which is to become a college wood-bat league. The Braves now have three of their four minor league affiliates in Georgia, though technically Augusta plays in South Carolina. — David O’Brien


Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles maintain four of their top affiliates, with the former Short-Season-A Aberdeen (Md.) IronBirds moving up to High A, replacing the Frederick (Md.) Keys. The other three affiliates — Triple-A Norfolk (Va.), Double-A Bowie (Md.) and Low-A Delmarva (Md.) — remain the same and keep the strong regional presence of the Orioles’ minor-league system intact. It’s a blow, however, to the rabid Orioles fan base in Frederick to lose that connection, which has been unbroken since 1989. But quaint Harry Grove Stadium will still have baseball this summer as Frederick joins the MLB Draft League. Frederick was on the initial list of contracted teams, so this is a solid scenario, although there was some thought the Washington Nationals might pick up the affiliation. — Dan Connolly

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox’ four full-season affiliates are remaining the same, with the exception of the previously agreed-upon move of Triple A from Pawtucket, R.I. to Worcester, Mass. Boston’s short-season affiliate the Lowell (Mass.) Spinners of the New York-Penn League will no longer be affiliated with the team. In a statement the Red Sox said they are working with the City of Lowell to keep baseball in the community, “evaluating various opportunities for the 2021 season, and will continue to discuss longer-term options in the weeks ahead.” — Jen McCaffrey

Chicago White Sox

More like the Status Quo Sox. The general club approach has been to wait out the shelling between MLB and MiLB and then return to the strong relationships they have enjoyed with their affiliates, all of whom they have held association with for the past two decades. Player development director Chris Getz even went on the record earlier this year saying he hoped to keep the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers in the now-independent Pioneer League, where he himself played back in 2005. Larger league machinations kept that from happening, and that seemed to be the only thing that could have caused the White Sox to alter any of their affiliates. — James Fegan

Chicago Cubs

The changes for the Cubs were quite minimal. The Iowa Cubs have been the team’s Triple-A affiliate since 1981 and will remain as such and the Tennessee Smokies will enter their 15th season as the team’s Double-A affiliate. South Bend (Ind.) and Myrtle Beach (S.C.) remain affiliated with the Cubs, but the two will flip-flop levels as South Bend jumps to High A and the Pelicans drop to Low A. One potential benefit of this change is that younger players who have recently come over from Latin American countries won’t be forced to deal with the often brutally cold Aprils in northern Indiana. They can ease into full-season baseball in the warmer climes of South Carolina before learning what it’s like in the Midwest early in the season. — Sahadev Sharma

Cincinnati Reds

Despite the changes elsewhere, the Reds’ affiliates remain relatively constant, aside from the loss of the two advanced rookie-level teams, the Billings (Mont.) Mustangs and the Greeneville (Tenn.) Reds. Dayton and Daytona flip-flop levels, with Dayton taking over as the High-A team and Daytona the Low-A team. That should help younger players from countries with warmer climates acclimate to life in the United States with their first introductions to living here coming in April in Florida rather than April in Ohio. All four teams had been Reds affiliates since at least 2019, when Chattanooga (Tenn.) rejoined the Reds organization, having previously served as a Reds affiliate from 1988 to 2008. Billings had been the team’s longest continuous affiliate, having served as a Reds farm team since 1974. Both Chattanooga and Daytona had been rumored to be on the chopping block, but the Reds were happy with both organizations and liked the locations and ownership groups and were pleased to retain them. — C. Trent Rosecrans


Cleveland Indians

The Indians lost the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers in nearby Niles, Ohio, which will become one of six teams in the new MLB Draft League. Their four remaining affiliates are all the same (and mostly close to home): Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Akron, High-A Lake County (Ohio) and Low-A Lynchburg (Va.). Lake County and Lynchburg are switching levels. — Zack Meisel

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies kept the nearby Albuquerque (N.M.) Isotopes as their Triple-A team and the far-away Hartford (Conn.) Yard Goats in Double A. But they switched High-A teams, from the Lancaster (Calif.) JetHawks to the Spokane (Wash.) Indians. Spokane will jump up from being the Rangers’ short-season A team. And the Asheville (N.C.) Tourists, the Rockies’ only remaining original farm team from 1994, will now belong to the Astros. Instead, MLB sent an invite to the Fresno (Calif.) Grizzlies to become Colorado’s Single-A team, a severe demotion from Fresno’s spot in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Fresno was not pleased by having to drop two levels, but by Thursday, the Grizzlies accepted their invitation. The Rockies also lost the Low-A Boise (Idaho) Hawks and rookie-level Grand Junction (Colo.) Rockies, who both will go independent.— Nick Groke

Detroit Tigers

The Norwich (Conn.) Sea Unicorns of the short-season New York-Penn League are no more, but otherwise, not much has changed. The Tigers will swap Low-A and High-A affiliates, with the West Michigan Whitecaps moving up to High A and the Lakeland (Fla.) Flying Tigers going down to Low A. The Tigers also retained their Double-A affiliate in Erie, Pa., once at risk of being contracted. After big upgrades to UPMC Park, the SeaWolves will remain the Tigers’ Double-A club and could host some talented rosters in the next couple of seasons. — Cody Stavenhagen

Houston Astros

The Astros’ minor-league structure looks a lot different under the new format. The biggest change is at Triple A, where they swapped Round Rock for Sugar Land, which is only a 22-mile drive from Minute Maid Park. Their High-A Fayetteville (N.C.) affiliate will now be their Low-A affiliate, with Asheville (N.C.) coming over from the Rockies to be the Astros’ new High-A affiliate. Their previous Low-A team, Quad Cities (Iowa), ascended a level to High A and went over to the Royals, and short-season Tri-City (N.Y.) lost affiliation. Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas) is really the only constant for Houston. — Jake Kaplan

Kansas City Royals

The Royals gained an affiliate with a Ferris wheel beyond the fence, but before we assess what the addition of High-A Quad Cities (Iowa) will mean, it’s important to address what the Royals lost. The Wilmington (Del.) Blue Rocks had been the Royals’ High-A affiliate since 2007. It’s where members of the Royals’ World Series-winning team grew up, and where players such as Yordano Ventura introduced himself. That club, along with what had been Low-A Lexington (Ky.) and short-season Idaho Falls and Burlington (Vt.), is no longer an affiliate. The Royals picked up the Quad Cities River Bandits as well as Columbia, S.C., as their Low-A affiliate. They retained Triple-A Omaha (Neb.) and Double-A Northwest Arkansas, two stalwart affiliates for many years. — Alec Lewis

Los Angeles Angels

The Double-A Rocket City (Ala.) Trash Pandas, owners of perhaps the most interesting mascot in the minors, will remain an Angels affiliate through at least 2030 after their debut season was canceled this year. Salt Lake (Utah) remains as the club’s longtime Triple-A affiliate, and Inland Empire (Calif.) shifts down from High A to Low A. The Tri-City (Wash.) Dust Devils will join the Angels’ list of affiliates at High A in a partnership through 2030. The Angels lost both full-season Low-A Burlington (Iowa) and short-season rookie-level Orem (Utah), the latter of which will be part of the MLB partner independent Pioneer League. — Fabian Ardaya

Los Angeles Dodgers

The short-season Ogden (Utah) Raptors are no more, but the Dodgers are not losing any of their full-season affiliates. The largest change they made is a switch: Low-A Great Lakes (Mich.) will become High-A Great Lakes; High-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) will become Low-A Rancho Cucamonga. The Dodgers’ Double- and Triple-A affiliates remain quite far from Los Angeles, but they have the benefit of being near each other, in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. — Pedro Moura


Miami Marlins

If the Marlins don’t get to completely stay in the state of Florida, they at least get to stay with the aquatic theme among their minor-league teams — the Triple-A Jacksonville (Fla.) Jumbo Shrimp, the Double-A Pensacola (Fla.) Blue Wahoos, the High-A Beloit (Wisc.) Snappers and the Low-A Jupiter (Fla.) Hammerheads. The Snappers are owned by Quint Studer, who also owns the Blue Wahoos. The team, an A’s affiliate from 2013 to 2020, is scheduled to open a new stadium in the summer of 2021, but also plan to change their name, perhaps killing the aquatic theme. — C. Trent Rosecrans

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate will now be the Nashville (Tenn.) Sounds. Not only is Nashville a closer and better location than San Antonio, but this is a reunion of a partnership, too. Nashville previously served as the team’s Triple-A affiliate from 2005-14, winning the Pacific Coast League championship in 2005. The Brewers also made a change to their lower levels: Wisconsin is now High A and Carolina is Low A. The Brewers are pleased with keeping both; they own the (North) Carolina Mudcats and obviously enjoy having the Timber Rattlers in the state. Biloxi (Miss.) remains as the Double-A affiliate. — Will Sammon

Minnesota Twins

The announcement brought major changes to the organization, as the Twins’ new Triple-A affiliate will be housed just across the river in St. Paul instead of in upstate New York. Long the darlings of indy baseball, the St. Paul Saints are replacing the Rochester Red Wings, a move that offers the Twins flexibility when making last-minute roster changes and another avenue to promote their players within the market. The team also has a new affiliate at Double-A Wichita (Kan.) after losing Pensacola (Fla.) to the Marlins, and retained its affiliations with Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and Fort Myers (Fla.). — Dan Hayes

New York Yankees

The Yankees moved their High-A affiliate from Charleston (S.C.) to the Hudson Valley (N.Y.), their Double-A affiliate from Trenton to Somerset, N.J., and they left the short-season Staten Island (N.Y.) Yankees entirely. The Triple-A team will remain in Scranton, Penn. The realignment puts all of their affiliates — except for Single-A Tampa (Fla.) — within a couple of hours of one another by car. This is expected to make it easier to get players from one affiliate to another and centralizes the farm system for the roving directors and instructors in player development. It’s been something of an ugly process for the Yankees: the SI Yankees filed a lawsuit against the Yankees and MLB on the basis of “false promises,” and an owner of the Trenton Thunder alleged through the media that the Yankees had left under “false pretenses.” — Lindsey Adler

New York Mets

The Mets’ most important move with an affiliate came last season when they finally got out of the travel hell of the Pacific Coast League and got back to the International League in Syracuse, N.Y. (by buying the team). Binghamton (N.Y.), initially reported to be on the minor-league chopping block earlier this year, managed to keep the affiliate in the Eastern League. The move up comes from Brooklyn, previously a short-season team in the New York-Penn League, and now a full-season High-A squad in the new Mid-Atlantic League. What’s unknown, right now, is who else will be in that new league. Five teams fit geographically, but not mathematically in a sport with games every day. The St. Lucie (Fla.) Mets, who operate out of the club’s renovated spring training facilities, have moved along with the rest of the Florida State League from High A to Low A. — Tim Britton

Oakland A’s

The A’s will be retaining three of their four full-season affiliates from 2020, with Las Vegas set to return as a Triple-A affiliate, Midland (Texas) to return as a Double-A affiliate and Stockton (Calif.) becoming the organization’s new Low-A affiliate after a long relationship as their High-A team. The Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts will be the new High-A affiliate. The A’s previously had a Midwest League affiliation with Beloit (Wisc.). The team is losing its short-season affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters, with the elimination of the New York-Penn League. — Melissa Lockard

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies’ partial ownership stake in three of their minor-league affiliates eliminated most of their potential drama surrounding the reshuffling. In-state Lehigh Valley and Reading remain Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, respectively. The main switch features the Jersey Shore (N.J.) BlueClaws and Clearwater (Fla.) Threshers. The BlueClaws bump up a level and are now a High-A team while the Threshers, which play in the stadium next to the Phillies’ minor-league complex, become the organization’s Low-A team. The Phillies lost their Williamsport (Pa.) Crosscutters affiliate, previously a rookie ball team in the New York-Penn League. Instead, the Crosscutters are part of the new MLB Draft League. The Phillies’ three highest levels feature convenient 1 1/2 to 2-hour drives from Philadelphia, a continuing perk of their minor-league setup. — Meghan Montemurro


Pittsburgh Pirates

The club retained its top four affiliates, although two of them swapped levels. Bradenton (Fla.) (which is owned by the Pirates) will drop to Low A; Greensboro (N.C.) moves to High A. Indianapolis has been the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate since 2005. Altoona, which is about a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh, remains the Double-A team. — Rob Biertempfel

San Diego Padres

The Padres will keep three of their most recent full-season affiliations, with some notable shuffling. While El Paso (Texas) returns as the Triple-A affiliate, Fort Wayne (Ind.) will become San Diego’s High-A club, swapping levels with Lake Elsinore (Calif.), the new Low-A stop. At the Double-A level, the Padres are reuniting with San Antonio after a two-year partnership with Amarillo (Texas); San Antonio had been the Padres’ Double-A location from 2007 through 2018. Tri-City (Wa.), formerly the Padres’ affiliate in the short-season Northwest League, is expected to become the Angels’ High-A club. — Dennis Lin

San Francisco Giants

The Giants will retain three of their four full-season affiliates, with Sacramento staying on as the Triple-A affiliate, Richmond (Va.) remaining as the Double-A affiliate and San Jose staying on as the new Low-A affiliate. The team’s new High-A affiliate will be Eugene (Ore.), replacing their previous Northwest League affiliate, the Salem-Keizer (Ore.) Volcanoes. — Melissa Lockard

Seattle Mariners

No surprises. Seattle will retain its three full-season affiliates — Triple-A Tacoma, Double-A Arkansas and Single-A Modesto (Calif.). Notable changes are that short-season Everett (Wash.) is now a full-season affiliate with Modesto now Low A. Everett, which is located 30 minutes north of Seattle, will allow the Mariners’ brass a much easier in-person look at the team’s top prospects that pass through there than the remote outpost of Modesto. The Mariners now have two full-season affiliates (Tacoma is the other) within a 30-40 minute drive — insert Seattle-area traffic jokes — of T-Mobile Park. — Corey Brock

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals outright own their teams in Springfield (Mo.) and Palm Beach (Fla.) and have a stake in Memphis (Tenn.), so it’s no surprise that their four affiliates remain the same. The only difference in the four teams will be the flip-flop of the Florida team to Low A and Peoria (Ill.) now the High-A affiliate. — C. Trent Rosecrans

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays will continue to have the Durham (N.C.) Bulls and Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits as their Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, respectively. Bowling Green (Ky.), formerly a Low-A affiliate, moves up to High A, while the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, previously with the Yankees, will become the team’s new Low-A affiliate. Those changes mean the Rays lose their full-season team in Port Charlotte, which had played in the Florida State League since 2007. Port Charlotte will remain the Rays spring training base and host to their Gulf Coast League rookie-league team, but the moves mean the Rays no longer have a full-season affiliate in the state of Florida. — Kaitlyn McGrath

Texas Rangers

“All my exes live in Texas,” George Strait once sang. “And that’s why I hang my hat in Tennessee.” Maybe it was one too many midnight margaritas, or perhaps it was, you know, the complete and utter collapse of the agreement between MiLB and MLB, but the Rangers have reunited with their erstwhile (2011-18) Triple-A partners in Round Rock (Texas), leaving Nashville to sing the tune of a different George. The Rangers’ Double-A partnership with Frisco (Texas) will remain intact, which makes perfect sense, given their proximity. Meanwhile, like a few other teams, Texas pulled a flip-flop between their High-A and Low-A teams: Hickory (N.C.) gets the promotion to High A while the Down East (N.C.) Wood Ducks find themselves in Low A. — Levi Weaver


Toronto Blue Jays

The good news is Toronto retains the Vancouver Canadians as an affiliate, albeit now at the High-A level rather than short-season Class A. There was speculation they could lose the affiliation, although Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro previously shot down those rumours. The Canadians have been a successful franchise, and keeping the team within the organization was important for patriotic reasons, even if the commute from British Columbia to any of their other affiliates is a trek. In a release, the Blue Jays said “the club takes great pride in maintaining a west coast presence, introducing future Blue Jays players to Canadian fans, and helping grow the game nationally.” Other changes include Dunedin (Fla.), formerly High A, moving down to Low A. With the club’s U.S. operations and new training complex there, it’s a logical place to have players begin their pro careers. The Buffalo (N.Y.) Bisons (Triple A) and New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double A) stay put, but the club loses former Low-A affiliate Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts, who are invited to join the A’s, and the rookie ball Bluefield (Va./W.V.) Blue Jays, formerly of the Appalachian League that’s being converted to a collegiate summer league. — Kaitlyn McGrath

Washington Nationals

The big surprise here is the addition of Wilmington (Del.), formerly a Royals affiliate, which will serve as the Nats’ new High-A club. Fredericksburg (Va.), previously slated for High A, will shift its new facility to Low A for its inaugural season in 2021. Rochester (N.Y.) is another newcomer for Washington and will be a much smoother promotion than their previous Triple-A team was in Fresno, Calif. — Brittany Ghiroli

(Top photo of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes ballpark: Chris Williams / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New minor-league affiliates of all 30 MLB teams, explained (2024)


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