Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The minor leagues got a major realignment this winter. The whole system was pared down to 120 teams, with four affiliates for each MLB parent club. The Oakland A’s will still play Triple-A in Las Vegas and Double-A in Midland, while Stockton moves down to Low-A, and Lansing joins the organization in High-A. Beloit switches to the Marlins’ farm. Click here for more details on the new setup.
However, one former A’s affiliate was left out in the cold entirely. The Vermont Lake Monsters spent nine years as Oakland’s short-season Low-A club, as part of the NY-Penn League, where particularly young prospects and recent draft picks would often get their first brief taste of pro ball before moving up to a full-season league. But the short-season level was eliminated entirely as part of the recent changes, and the Lake Monsters weren’t re-assigned higher up the ladder.
The team isn’t finished, though, and this week it took its next step forward. The Lake Monsters were sold to a new ownership group, Nos Amours Baseball Club, and they will join the collegiate Futures League, the league reports.
Nos Amours is led by Chris English, a longtime owner of various pro and summer-collegiate teams; he also owns another club in the non-pro Futures League, the Brockton Rox. The Lake Monsters’ previous owner since 1994 was businessman Ray Pecor.
Note that the Lake Monsters are not joining the new MLB Draft League, which was created this winter as part of the realignment, as a showcase for eligible prospects before and after the amateur draft — it’s directly affiliated with MLB and currently consists of six former members of the NY-Penn League. Rather, this is the Futures League, which began play in 2011, an eight-team wood-bat league for college athletes to play in front of pro scouts. (Those descriptions are basically the same, but I assure you they are different leagues.)
Best of luck to the Lake Monsters in their new pond! They have one of the best hat logos in baseball, and it’s good to know that Champ (the monster mascot) will continue to be a part of the sport.
Looks like the Lake Monsters are changing ownership and joining the Prospect League. Really sad for everyone involved in a terrific franchise that they weren't included in the re-alignment. Glad there will be some baseball in Burlington, but still a shame. https://t.co/27hhW7DX6N— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) February 25, 2021
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It’ll be Chavez’s second tour in Anaheim, after also spending 2017 with the Angels
Jesse Chavez signing with Angels. Minors deal. Bolsters pen.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 26, 2021
Another former A’s pitcher finds a new home, and if Milone gets to the majors then it’ll be the ninth team he’s played for (which would match Jesse Chavez, five back of Edwin Jackson’s all-time record)
#BlueJays adding four more players to camp: LHP Tommy Milone signed a minor-league deal, while non-roster players C Chris Bec, RHP Hobie Harris and INF Cullen Large get invites, team says.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 26, 2021
Mayfield rejoins the AL West, after spending 2019-20 with the Astros
This morning, the Club acquired INF Jack Mayfield from the Braves in exchange for Cash Considerations.— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) February 25, 2021
To make room on the 40-man roster, INF Robel Garcia was designated for assignment.
Best of Twitter
Frankie Goes To Arizona
Bob Melvin says that Frankie Montas — who recently tested positive for COVID-19 — feels fine, will be on same schedule as everyone else, he’ll just be a bit behind. He’s already started throwing.— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) February 26, 2021
... and so does Luis
I’m told A’s outfield prospect Luis Barrera has resolved his visa issues and is in Arizona. He’ll go through intake process before joining the team in camp. A’s hoping to get him more at-bats this spring.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) February 27, 2021
Behold, a new video mockup of the possible future
City of Oakland released a Draft Environmental Impact Report for A’s waterfront ballpark, a once-in-a-generation project that can contribute to health & vitality of Oakland w/ improved infrastructure, transportation solutions, improved air quality, & supplying additional housing. pic.twitter.com/HURMrOBc1j— Oakland A's (@Athletics) February 26, 2021
The A’s top hitting prospect, 19-year-old Tyler Soderstrom
Still can’t decide, do you think we’re gonna have fun with Romo?
Can you imagine waiting through all of 2020 due to the pandemic, and then having this happen at the beginning of 2021 spring training? The former No. 1 overall draft pick will turn 22 this summer while he sits out.
#MNTwins say Royce Lewis had successful reconstruction surgery yesterday to repair the torn ACL in his right knee.— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) February 27, 2021
I hope Bartolo becomes the Bill Murray of baseball players, just randomly showing up at Little League games and sandlot pickups and beer league softball matchups and joining in for the fun of it