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https://www.stltoday.com/sports/basebal ... 3366f.html
The downsizing and shuffling of Minor League Baseball led to uprooting or dropping affiliates throughout the game, but the Cardinals were largely able to avoid the drama because of their ownership stakes in affiliates and regional structure to their farm system.
The Cardinals will have their same four top affiliates, headlined by Memphis at Class AAA and Springfield, Mo., as their Class AA club.
They have also invited Peoria to remain an affiliate, and Palm Beach, Fla., will remain an affiliate. Those two teams will swap levels, however, as the Florida State League shifts to Low-A. If Peoria accepts the invitation to be an affiliate, as expected, that would give the Cardinals their top three affiliates all within an afternoon drive of Busch Stadium.
According to Baseball America, a total of 119 invitations to be affiliates went out to clubs around the country Wednesday. Major League Baseball has decided to reduce farm systems to four top-level teams, for 120 total.
The Cardinals lost their longtime rookie-ball affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn. -- one of the most successful franchises in the Appalachian League -- and their State College, Pa., affiliate for Class A short-season. Major League Baseball has sought to turn leagues, like the Appy League, into college-level summer ball programs.
The Cardinals have planned to maintain a low-level affiliate at the complex in Jupiter, Fla., in the short-season Gulf Coast League. That league is for entry-level players, some of whom are coming right out of the draft.
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This sounds good for people in the Peoria area...if we ever get to attend live baseball again.