Reports indicate that the New York Yankees will be relocating two of their Minor League Baseball teamsÂ in 2021. The Yankees A-ball affiliate, the Charleston RiverDogs, and the AA affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, will be eliminated. Replacing them will be the Hudson Valley Renegades and the Somerset Patriots, respectively.
The Renegades have been the Tampa Bay Rays A-short season affiliate since 1996, located in Wappingers Falls, New York. They won New York-Penn League championship in 1999, 2012, and 2017.Â Hudson Valley plays at Dutchess Stadium, a 4,500 seat facility just off on I-84. The team is around an hour north of New York City.
The Somerset Patriots are an Independent League baseball team located in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. Just an hour southwest of New York City, the team will take over as the AA affiliate of the Yankees.
Since the organization’s foundation in 1998, the team has won 13 division championships and six league championships. They play at TD Bank Ballpark, a 6,100 seat facility known to be one of the most environmentally friendly parks in all of sports.
These changes are a part of the MLB’s initiatives to reduce the overall size of Minor League Baseball. The goal is to reduce the number of affiliates and levels of play.
In the MLB’s original plans, eliminating the Trenton Thunder wasn’t included. The Erie Seawolves and the Binghamton RumblePonies were in the original plans, but the future of those two teams are currently unknown.
These decisions are major decisions that’ll have big implications of communities losing teams. It’s sad to see cities lose affiliates and it could hurt baseball.