The Dodgers will have a minor league affiliate in Spokane, Washington for the 2021 season, as they lose ties with minor league teams in Ogden, Utah and Midland, Michigan, the Southern California News Group has learned.
The number of affiliated minor league teams shrinks from 160 to 120, a major consolidation of MLB that started behind the scenes more than a year ago. Each organization is left with four affiliates – Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A – in addition to two teams based on their minor league complexes.
The Triple-A (Oklahoma City) and Double-A (Tulsa) preferences of the Dodgers remain intact. Spokane will replace Rancho Cucamonga as the team’s High-A affiliate. It plays from the Northwest League, with teams in Vancouver, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The league had previously been classified as a short-season Single-A competition.
Meanwhile, the California League will shift from a High-A to a Low-A rating. The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes remain the Dodgers’ Cal League subsidiary, as it has since 2011. The Angels are affiliated with the Cal League’s Inland Empire 66ers, based in San Bernardino.
The Great Lakes Loons (located in Midland) have been affiliated with the Dodgers since 2007. They are more than 2000 miles from Los Angeles. The Midwest League is one of many that will rearrange based on geographic considerations.
Because of the changes, the Rookie-league will remain Ogden Raptors for next season and without a partner after that. Ogden had been continuously associated with the Dodgers since 2003. It was also a Dodger affiliate from 1966-73. Tommy Lasorda led the club from 1966-68. Charlie Hough, Bill Russell, Bill Buckner, Steve Garvey, and Bobby Valentine all passed through Ogden as potential clients.
Major League Baseball recently acquired the minor leagues’ operations from the Manhattan offices. The official announcement as to which teams will lose their connection is expected on or around December 1.