Dust Devils Move to ‘High’ A Ball, Ink Deal With Angels for 10 Years
Many folks might not be aware that the minor league baseball landscape has change dramatically.
Even prior to the interruptions caused by COVID, MLB (Major League Baseball) and it's Minor League Farm Teams (MiLB) were in long term discussions about revamping their farm systems. It's a LONG and sometimes confusing story, you can read about it by clicking here.
The bottom line is, after all the readjusting, only 120 minor league teams are left. That's actually a reduction from before, with a lot of teams changing venues.
Some cities with smaller parks and lesser facilities lost their teams. However, Tri-Cities has always been in demand since GESA (formerly Dust Devils Stadium) was built.
After 14 years with Colorado as their short season Class "A" Farm Team, the Dust Devils spent six years with the San Diego Padres. Probably the two most famous Dust Devils Alumni are Rockies perennial All-Star and NL Batting Champ Charlie Blackmon, and Padres rising star Fernando Tatis Jr. Both spent at least one or more seasons with the club.
Now, comes the exciting news. GM Brent Miles announced Wednesday, the club has signed a Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Los Angels Angels of Anahiem, and will be a "high" season A team. Besides playing between 130-140 games instead of just 76, High A ball is two levels further up the ladder than short season A.
Angels General Manager Perry Manasian released a statement that read in part:
“We are proud to continue our relationship with Salt Lake, Rocket City and Inland Empire and are excited to welcome the Tri-City franchise to the Angels family."
Those other teams represent the other teams in the Angel's farm system. Salt Lake (Salt Lake City Utah) is the AAA team, one step below "The Show."
The deal begins with the 2021 season, and the partnership is for 10 years through 2030.
The Dust Devils statement included the following:
"As we continue to navigate through the offseason and prepare for 2021, we continue to monitor the status of Covid-19 and await direction from Major League Baseball as to when the 2021 season will begin."
For questions or more information you can email the team at the address below.