On Saturday, the Staten Island Yankees learned that the team will not be offered a New York Yankees’ minor league affiliation in the borough.
Last year, MLB proposed the idea that it would contract affiliated minor league baseball teams from 160 to 120 over some time.
But, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing MLB to cancel the 2020 MiLB season, the process has already begun to trickle down and cause organizations to restructure its prospect pipeline.
Staten Island hoped to land somewhere in the New York Yankees’ farm system. But the Yankees chose to align with the Hudson Valley Renegades, formerly with the now-defunct New York-Penn League (short-season A-Ball), located in Fishkill, NY, to host their Class “A” Advanced team.
Much to the surprise of Will Smith, Staten Island Yankees’ President/Operating Partner, “the Staten Island Yankees made every effort to accommodate MLB and New York Yankees’ requirements, including securing a commitment from New York City for ballpark upgrades,” he said today in a press release.
“However, MLB and the Yankees choose not to engage in any discussions with us,” Smith continued. “We were unaware of the final decision and learned about it by reading the statement on Yankees’ social media.”
Smith expressed his dissatisfaction over the way the Yankees handled the situation.
“We are shocked at the developments from this past weekend, and we believe what has happened to our organization is unacceptable,” Smith wrote.
The Somerset Patriots (NJ), a former team in the independent Atlantic League, will be the new AA affiliate of the Yankees, replacing the Trenton Thunder (NJ).
In my opinion, possible moves could land Trenton in the Atlantic League, per the Yankees organization statement below.
“Thanks to the efforts of Major League Baseball, the Atlantic League and the owners of the Somerset Patriots, Trenton will be offered Somerset’s membership within the Atlantic League,” the statement read in a press release on Yankees.com.
As for Staten Island, becoming a college summer league is an option, as well as part of an independent league.
I will keep you posted as more information becomes available,
— Jerry Del Priore