While the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signing of extensions with their Low-A and High-A Minor League affiliates in September, the same didn’t hold true for their Double-A and Triple-A teams.
Coinciding with their agreement coming to an end with the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers jointly purchased the Oklahoma City Redhawks with Mandalay Baseball, which is led by Peter Guber, who is a Dodgers co-owner.
As the owners of the Minor League franchise, the Dodgers announced Wednesday they’ve renamed the Triple-A team to the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Although the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate has changed, their ties to the Pacific Coast League remain. Aside from the benefit of owning their own affiliate, the move to Oklahoma City was widely believed to be driven by competitive factors.
With the PCL considered a hitter-friendly league, the altitude in Albuquerque didn’t do pitchers any favors. Additionally, hitters’ statistics were at times difficult to judge given the environment. Across three separate stints, the Dodgers spent a total of 44 years tied to the Isotopes.
The Isotopes finished 62-79 last season in what was a difficult year for the team. First, there was the altercation between Alex Guerrero and Miguel Olivo, then later in the year Erisbel Arruebarrena sparked a benches-clearing brawl in a game against the Reno Aces.
It wasn’t all negative for the Isotopes however, as Joc Pederson put together a historic season. Pederson became the first PCL player in 80 years to hit for 30 home runs and steal 30 bases.