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January 29, 2016

High-A Affiliation Shuffle, 2016

Hi. Remember me? I used to run a blog.

Anyway, if you follow me on twitter, you've seen my takes on Adelanto's unilateral termination of the Use Agreement allowing High Desert to play in the city'owned stadium (storfied here and here). Though the dispute doesn't directly involve the Rangers, they're obviously affected, and this mess only provides further impetus (as if any were needed) for them to escape to somewhere, anywhere, during the next affiliation shuffle this September.

Easier said than done, however. As I've written before, the high-A classification is especially troublesome for Texas for reasons of geography and loyalty. The Florida State League is virtually off-limits, the most desirable Cal League locations are gobbled up by West Coast clubs, and the Carolina League has few openings and many suitors.

As of now, only 16 of 30 affiliations are set to expire in September, and I expect that number to decline before Texas can seek a new home. Much as it pains me, I wouldn't be shocked if Texas were forced to renew with High Desert. Barring news of an impending move, the Mavericks will be at a new nadir of undesirability, and other clubs will make every effort to avoid Texas's current fate. Failing to secure a long-term relationship with the Pelicans in 2014 could haunt the franchise for some time.

Posted by Lucas at January 29, 2016 12:02 AM