With the Atlanta Braves almost unwanted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, the team was looking for an other facility and thus for a new partnership with a minor league team.
They found that team in the former Brevard County Manatees, who moved to Central Florida and will play at the Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee FL. With this stadium, the Braves will also have a new Spring Training complex.
The new affiliation will last through the 2020 season.
The former Manatees were an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Apparently the Brewers were already looking for another A Advanced partner, otherwise they would have signed a new deal with the organization. Last Sunday, September 11, was the deadline for PDC extensions. There are two options left in A Advanced baseball: the Carolina Mudcats, the previous affiliation of the Braves or the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League. But it is very likely that the Colorado Rockies will sign with the latter, so only the MudCats in Zebulon NC will be left to partner up with.
“We’re excited about this new partnership with the Braves, especially given the team’s long history here in Central Florida. We’re looking forward to enhancing that existing relationship with a reintroduction of Minor League Baseball in our community,” said Team President Joe Harrington. “The Florida State League has a reputation as a development leader for future major leaguers, so it was a natural fit as we look to build the new franchise here at Osceola County Stadium.”
Braves GM John Coppolella stated that the Braves are thrilled to reach this agreement with the Manatees. “We look forward to returning to the Florida State League and to our second home in Central Florida.”
The Central Florida affiliation has started a name-the-team contest of which the results will be announced in October.