Despite the big chance, the Las Vegas 51s will get a new ballpark in the imminent future, the New York Mets have decided to turn their back on the team and buy the Syracuse Chiefs. This leaves the Washington Nationals without an AAA team after the 2018 season.
It was a public secret the Mets were not happy with the 51s as their top farm team. Especially the logistics was a problem for the team from the Big Apple. In fact, that was the problem when the Blue Jays were the parent club as well. The acquisition of the Chiefs solves the problem for the Mets: Their top AAA team in upstate New York and getting out of Las Vegas.
The Nationals will play out the remaining contract, which ends in 2018. There are plenty of PDCs that will end after the 2018 season but are also a lot of AAA/MLB combinations that are unlikely to be dissolved. It is very hard to imagine that the following cooperations will ever end: Durham Bulls/ Tampa Bay Rays, Tacoma Rainiers/ Seattle Mariners, Oklahoma City Dodgers/ (partially owned by the) Los Angeles Dodgers, Toledo MudHens/ Detroit Tigers, Rochester RedWings/ Minnesota Twins, Pawtucket Red Sox/ Boston Red Sox Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders/ New York Yankees (Yankees own the RailRiders partially) and Omaha StormChasers/ Kansas City Royals.
There are still plenty of other PDCs left that will end after the 2018 season but a few of them seem to be settled already. The Colorado Springs SkySox will move to San Antonio and the place of the Brewers will be taken by the Texas Rangers. The place of the Astros with the Fresno Grizzlies will be taken by the Milwaukee Brewers (who will leave the SkySox behind) and the Astros will replace the Rangers in Round Rock.
So the Washington Nationals can pick one of the following AAA teams of which the PDC is about to end after the 2018 season: Buffalo Bisons (currently Blue Jays), Columbus Clippers (currently Cleveland Indians), El Paso Chihuahuas (currently San Diego Padres), Louisville Bats (currently Cincinnati Reds), Nashville Sounds (currently Oakland Athletics), Norfolk Tides (currently Baltimore Orioles), Reno Aces (currently Arizona Diamondbacks) and the Salt Lake Bees (currently Los Angeles Angels).
One can count on it the Nationals are lobbying already to land an AAA team in their neighborhood. To be continued.