The San Francisco Giants are going to have to make some decisions in the near future regarding location of their Triple-A affiliate, and one of those options could land them in Sacramento, moving them away from Fresno.
For the past several months, speculation has built due to the Sacramento River Cats looking to end their affiliation with the Oakland Athletics organization. Both the River Cats and Grizzlies minor league contracts are up this season, and rumor were abound that Sacramento preferred the fan base of San Francisco to Oakland.
Now, it appears the scenario is one step closer to becoming a reality, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"A source tells The Chronicle that Triple-A Sacramento has filed to end its longtime affiliation with the A’s, as I first reported was likely in May. That ends a fruitful 15-year relationship, and the River Cats could announce a new affiliation – overwhelmingly expected to be the Giants – as soon as tomorrow.Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle"
Of course, just because Sacramento wants the Giants, doesn’t mean the same holds true for the Giants, but it has to be appealing seeing as how the River Cats have one of the best fan bases in all of minor league baseball. It also doesn’t look like Fresno is ready to go down without a fight either, based on the message they posted to fans on their Facebook Page yesterday.
It’s hard to imagine that the Giants won’t consider the move, given that they’ve never had success in Fresno, and it’s hard to get fans to the park. Of course, moving the team doesn’t mean success either, since the farm systems (players and coaches) would remain the same. Only the venue would change.