The current state of Minor League Baseball moving forward is up in the air due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after all leagues were cancelled this year.
Changes are expected to come league-wide in the near future, with Minor League affiliates being reduced from 160 to 120 due to organizations having fewer players after the 2020 MLB Draft was shortened to five rounds and a ton of prospects were released due to financial concerns.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams that will be making some changes to their Minor League affiliates in 2021, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
As part of sweeping changes coming to minor league baseball in 2021, the Dodgers will no longer be affiliated with teams in Ogden, Utah and Midland, Michigan, the Southern California News Group has learned.
A source with direct knowledge of the situation told SCNG that a team based in Spokane, Washington will replace Rancho Cucamonga as the team’s High-A affiliate. Rancho Cucamonga will remain affiliated with the Dodgers, and join other California League teams in moving from a High-A to Low-A classification.
The biggest change for the Dodgers organization would be the addition of Spokane as a High-A affiliate. It appears that is not yet a done deal yet, however:
A second source, not authorized to speak on the record, said the Spokane affiliation hasn’t been finalized. The club has been affiliated with the Texas Rangers since 2003.
In an email to SCNG, Spokane Indians managing partner Bobby Brett said that “we have not been informed as to any affiliation with the Spokane Indians at this time.”
The Dodgers’ two highest affiliates, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, are both expected to remain intact. What they would be losing are their Rookie-Level Ogden and Low-A Great Lakes affiliates.
Return to Spokane would be historic for Dodgers
If the Dodgers do take over the Spokane Indians, it would represent a monumental reunion as they made that their first Pacific Coast League affiliate after moving from Brooklyn to L.A. in 1958.
The Dodgers operated in Spokane from 1958-1972, with a number of their most successful players such as Steve Garvey, Bobby Valentine, Davey Lopes and Bill Russell all spending time there. Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda also led the Spokane Indians for a season in 1970.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events and more!