The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that they have left the Mobile BayBears to look for new AA partner in the Southern League. During the last decade, the team was linked to the Mobile BayBears, but after ten years the club has decided to sign a player development contract with the Jackson Generals, who were the AA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. But also the Mariners are looking for a change and are expected to move to the Texas League.
The Diamondbacks are expected to announce the news of their move to Pringles Park in Jackson TN, within 24 hours.
For fans, the change means that they’ll see a completely different group of players next season in Hank Aaron Stadium, as players on minor league rosters are signed to the major league affiliate instead of the minor league team.
Before the Diamondbacks signed a deal with the BayBears, the San Diego Padres were the parent club of the Southern League club from 1997 through 2006. During the Diamondbacks affiliation, the BayBears won back to back Southern League pennants in 2011 and 2012.
There are other clubs that will change AA affiliations as well. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics are among teams that are looking for a new AA partnership.
In the meantime the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Cincinnati Reds have announced that they have extended their PDC with two more years through the 2018 season.
Another Southern League club that extended the affiliation with its current parent club is the Jacksonville Suns. The North Florida team has signed an extension with the Miami Marlins through the 2020 season. The two clubs are partners since 2009 and the Suns have won three Southern League championships ever since (2009, 2010 and 2014). The Suns play in the beautiful Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, a stadium that would be a good fit for AAA baseball too.