While this probably isn’t big news yet, The Wilmington Blue Rocks Player Development Contract with the Kansas City Royals ends after this season. The reason I don’t think this will amount to anything is that the Royals and the Rocks have an outstanding relationship and from a geographical point of view, their are no Advanced A teams with contracts ending this year to move to Wilmington.
This story shows all the current agreements for all teams in minor leagues and the only A ball teams that are looking a possible changes are in the California League. 7 teams in the league PDCs are ending but their parent teams are west coast teams so I don’t see one of them wanting to join the Carolina League.
Now if there’s any MLB franchise that might be available to move their minor league PDC might be the Philadelphia Phillies AAA affiliation with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Their PDC ends this year and getting the Phillies AAA affiliate just 30 minutes away from Philadelphia could be a big coup for the owners of the Blue Rocks. However one would think the Rocks would need a bigger stadium to handle a AAA team and I think the Phillies/Lehigh Valley affair looks solid but we’ll see
Now the Blue Rocks did do a 2 year deal with the Red Sox for the ’05 and ’06 season and that really didn’t work out. Clearly the Rocks and Royals have a special relationship and I don’t see it ending soon but as of today there’s no new agreement in place. We should keep an eye on things and update this story as it develops.