Start planning those road trips. Or, in the Saints' case, a short drive.
Major League Baseball on Friday announced its player development setup, the result of their extensive overhaul of its minor league baseball system.
One of the goals was to have affiliates closer to their major league clubs, and that led to the Twins striking a deal with the St. Paul Saints to be their Triple-A affiliate. The Twins purchased about a 25 percent stake in the Saints as part of the agreement.
Fans love to travel to minor league affiliates of their favorite MLB team. Twins fans can take light rail or ride a bike to CHS Field in St. Paul.
On Friday, it was announced that the Saints will play in the Triple-A East Division, a 20-team group that includes the Omaha Storm Chasers, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and, yes, their former affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings.
The Twins Class AA affiliate has been switched from Pensacola, Fla., to Wichita, Kan. The Wichita Wind Surge will play in the Double-A Central Division against the likes of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Amarillo Sod Poodles, and others.
The Twins' two Class A affiliates will remain the same but will switch levels. The Cedar Rapids Kernels will play in the High-A Central Division while the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels play in the Low-A Southeast. Cedar Rapids used to be the Twins Low-A affiliate while Fort Myers served as their High-A affiliate.
The massive reorganization included the elimination of short season leagues, so the Twins no longer have an affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn.
In addition to geographic proximity, MLB is promising improved facilities and better pay for their minor leaguers.