For those of you who haven’t heard yet, the Columbus Clippers plan to search for a new major-league affiliate next season, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch. The Nationals‘ contract with their Class AAA affiliate is up after this season, at which point they could work out a new deal with the Clippers or search for a new affiliate. Click here to read the story.
I talked to Nationals president Stan Kasten a while ago, and he’s known for some time that the Clippers would like to end up affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, whose contract with Class AAA Buffalo is up after the year. “We enjoy Columbus,” Kasten said. “It’s well known to everyone that they’re trying to land with Cleveland.”
Teams can begin negotiations with minor-league affiliates on Sept. 16, so Kasten said the Nationals will begin contacting teams at that time if they can’t reach a new agreement with Columbus. Class AAA teams with expiring affiliations include Buffalo, Syracuse, Memphis, Omaha and New Orleans — the Nationals’ Class AAA affiliate before Columbus.
For those of you wondering if the Nationals could pick up an affiliation with Richmond after the Braves leave there at the end of the year, it’s a long shot. The Braves aren’t just switching affiliations; they’re moving the team. So a team would have to move to Richmond, get affiliation with the Nationals and apply to join the International League.