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The Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Sacramento River Cats, have a desire to ditch the A’s organization after this season and become the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. This is all according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle who broke the news earlier this morning.
Despite all that, Sacramento is looking to change affiliates, sources with both teams told The Chronicle – and River Cats ownership is particularly interested in switching to the Giants, sources said. – Triple-A River Cats want to switch to Giants – Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
According to Slusser, both Sacramento and Fresno’s affiliate agreements are up after this season.
While there is no word on whether the Giants organization would be interested in making the move, it would have to be tempting, as the River Cats have some of the best attendance in Triple-A ball, while the Grizzlies have some of the worst attendance. Whether fans like it or not, money talks, and it would be hard to imagine that the Giants wouldn’t listen.
The River Cats have also had more success over the past several years than the Grizzlies, but there is no guarantee that would happen in Sacramento, as the players and coaches would be the same as we currently have. But the added fan base and shaking things up may just be what the Triple-A team needs.
Of course, it would leave Fresno in need of a team, and the A’s in need of an affiliate. One could think that the two spurred groups would team up.
The Grizzlies have been in Fresno since 1998. During that time, they’ve one the division title once and that was also in 1998. That’s it. They’ve won nothing else. Nada. Prior to that, the team in Fresno has been an affiliate to the Brewers (for just one season), Astros, Rangers, Athletics, and White Sox.
The team in Sacramento has been an A’s affiliate since 1999. Prior to that they were with the Angels, White Sox, Pirates, Brewers, and A’s again (for one season only in 1978).
Either way, it should be an interesting development to see if the Giants are willing to listen.
Update 10:50am: Slusser has posted from more information and updates on her original article. Most importantly, she address some questions she’s been getting.
This is not the A’s doing, nor is it the Giants’. This strictly would be the River Cats’ decision. The A’s would like to retain their relationship with Sacramento, but they won’t make big concessions (more money for expenses at Sacramento, major-league exhibitions held there, etc.) to do so. So for those of you jumping to blame Lew Wolff, for some strange reason, this one is definitely not on him. The presumption is that the Giants would love to switch from Fresno to Sacramento, which is closer and has a far better facility, but the Giants haven’t gone out and pursued Sacramento. They’re just waiting to see what happens. So don’t blame them, either. – Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle
We also have an official statement from the Sacramento River Cats.
River Cats Official Statement RE: Oakland Athletics Affiliation pic.twitter.com/VCDLABHYVc
— River Cats (@RiverCats) May 18, 2014
Stay tuned. This is going to get fun.