08-29-2012, 04:03 PM #1
PDC with Fort Myers?
Maybe I missed something in the news about this, but have the Twins or Fort Myers announced an extension to their PDC with the Fort Myers Miracle that expires this year?
I know everybody assumes that they will, given that the stadium is in the same complex as the Twins' ST home, but...just to throw out a wild theory...
What if the Twins have declined to extend it so far as a form of pressure on Lee County to not back out of their deal? Is it really that essential to the Twins to be linked with the Miracle? It won't affect their use of the stadium for ST if they are not, and while it is convenient to have the high-A affiliate right there where the player facilities are, it is not essential. All of the teams in the FSL are within a few hours drive. And by going with a new high-A affiliate (still in the FSL) they send the message that nothing should be taken for granted, including the Twins presence for ST.
OK, admittedly this is a reach, but...the absence of news also has been interesting.
08-29-2012, 04:07 PM #2
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08-29-2012, 04:31 PM #3Originally Posted by jokin;50583[URL="http://www.nbc-2.com/story/19370818/lee-county-gets-15-million-grant-for-twins-stadium"
08-30-2012, 02:15 PM #4
I wondered about Ft. Myers a while ago in another thread, as well. But digging a bit deeper, it's hard to see where either party would turn if they did decide they no longer wanted to affiliate with the other.
Sure, there are two other ballparks in Lee County that the Miracle could conceivably move to. However, both JetBlue (new Sawx ballpark) and City of Palms (old Sawx ST ballpark) are owned by Lee County, I believe, owners of Hammond, as well. So no matter where they play, the Miracle is going to be dealing with the same stadium owners on rent issues.
Then you look at the rest of the teams in the FSL: Bradenton is owned by the Pirates. Brevard County is signed to the Brewers through 2014. Charlotte is partially owned by the Rays. Clearwater is owned by the Phillies.Dunedin is owned by the Blue Jays.Jupiter is owned by the Marlins.Lakeland is owned by the Tigers. Palm Beach is owned by the Cardinals.St. Lucie is owned by the Mets. Tampa is owned by the Yankees. The only option for either the Miracle or the Twins would appear to be to swap affiliations with the Daytona Cubs. Daytona and the Cubs have an agreement that is up for renewal this year as well.
I could see the Cubs thinking about moving west... but a lot further west than Ft Myers. They may consider a California League affiliation closer to their AZ spring training site. If Boston had a Class A affiliate that they were willing to walk away from, it would be at least plausible that Ft Myers ownership would drop the Twins and sign on with Boston. But The Sawx already own their Class A affiliate, Salem, in the Carolina League. And the other seven Carolina League PDCs all expire in 2014 or after.
So... unless the Twins want to move their Class A team to Daytona or the California League, they won't dump the Miracle. And unless the Miracle can convince the Cubs or one of the expiring California League affiliates (Reds, Mariners, Angels, Astros, or Dodgers) to flip coasts, they can't really make a move, either. Just doesn't seem at all likely.
However... if, like me, you are really a closet conspiracy theorist and you don't want to let go of this until pen is put to paper... consider this:
The reason the Red Sox affiliate is in Salem, rather than Ft. Myers (where their spanking new ST ballpark is), is that minor league teams have "territorial rights" just like MLB teams do and the Miracle moved to Ft. Myers before Boston came to town. In fact, when City of Palms Ballpark was built for the Red Sox in the early 90s, the team and city tried to get the territorial rights issue waived, but were not successful.
However, would it be possible, for the Red Sox to approach the ownership of the Miracle about a "location swap" that would allow the Red Sox to bring their Class A team to Ft Myers where they'd play in JetBlue, while the Miracle would move to Salem and try to convince the Cubs or one of the California League expiring affiliates to move to Salem with them? Not likely, I know, but if the Miracle ownership REALLY wanted to end their relationship with the Twins, it might-maybe-could happen, right? It would all require approval of a bunch of league presidents and commissioners, but until the Twins and Ft. Myers have a deal in place, we might as well speculate wildly.
Last edited by Jim Crikket; 08-30-2012 at 02:18 PM.
08-30-2012, 06:51 PM #5
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I find it interesting that the Yankees are allowed to have a minor league affiliate in Tampa, with the Rays drawing so poorly, and yet MLB would be against the Twins affiliating with the Saints when they move into a new stadium.
08-30-2012, 07:31 PM #6
I don't believe MLB would have any issue with the Twins affiliating with the Saints. At least it would have nothing to do with territory protection. It's the Twins' territory, so they could waive their "rights" for their own affiliate.
However, there's a legally binding contract between MLB and MiLB that governs affiliations and the rules under that contract govern all things dealing with the relationships between MLB teams and affiliate minor league teams. Those rules are what prevent the Twins from just saying "we're going to affiliate with the Saints." Doing so would mean an existing minor league team with an affiliation would be put out of business for lack of a MLB affiliate.The rules are there to protect the existing minor league owners.
And the minor league teams in the Tampa/Clearwater/Dunedin/Bradenton area very likely had pre-existing territory rights to the St. Pete area BEFORE the Rays came to town. Meaning the Rays made the decision to open up for business knowing the minor league teams were in the area. Not even close to the same situation in St. Paul.
08-30-2012, 07:54 PM #7
Expect an announcement on the Fort Myers PDC extension soon.
(and I am saying this in confidence from beautiful and over-humid Florida tonight)-----
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08-30-2012, 08:09 PM #8
Even purchasing and moving an existing team comes with a big bunch of hurdles involving approval of a number of people. There are "territory protection" provisions in the rules, as well. To go back to ScottyB's point, those provisions WOULD protect a team like the Twins from having the affiliate of ANOTHER MLB team from coming to the Twin Cities without the Twins approval. (So, if the Rays had been in St Pete first, the Yankees, Phillies, Blue Jays and Pirates might not have their minor league affiliates in the same area now.) But if it would be for their own affiliate, the Twins could certainly waive the territory rights restriction. Of course, as we've discussed elsewhere, they'd better be darn sure that affiliation would last in perpetuity. Otherwise the Saints owners could dump the Twins some day and affiliate with a rival. That would be awkward.
Glad to hear that the Miracle will be extending soon. We wouldn't want Jake Mauer to be unemployed next summer.
08-30-2012, 09:05 PM #9
09-17-2012, 07:30 AM #10
Still waiting ... anybody else heard anything about this the past couple of weeks?
09-17-2012, 08:25 AM #11
I was thinking about this last night. I haven't seen anything either. Still don't see other reasonable options, though. Maybe they're just waiting to announce both Class A affiliations at the same time when they come to an agreement on their MWL affiliate?
There are no independent leagues in Florida, are there? Given that many of the same ownership group of the Miracle also are involved with the Saints, you might wonder if they're tired of getting mediocre (or worse) talent assigned by the Twins and might think about going indy where they could sign their own players. I just don't recall ever hearing about significant independent leagues in that area.
09-17-2012, 09:25 AM #12
I'm still assuming this is probably just an oversight and they stay together, but if one side or the other is seeking a new partner, it would be interesting to know who initiated the move - the Twins or the Miracle.
Are there options in the Carolina or California leagues?
09-17-2012, 09:46 AM #13
No, not really other options at all. Everyone in the Carolina League is locked up at least until 2014 and the only remaining deal in the California League is Inland Empire where the Angels have their high-A team. So it's just Daytona (Cubs), Inland Empire (Angels) and Ft. Myers (Twins). Not really much opportunity for movement on anyone's part.
09-18-2012, 04:13 PM #14
I notice Ballparkdigest.com shows the Miracle and Twins renewed through 2014 now. I never saw an announcement.