The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a Minor League affiliate based in Albuquerque, N.M. for a total of 44 years, but that may soon change.
According to Michael Baldwin of the Oklahoman, a group with connections to the Dodgers is on the verge of purchasing the Oklahoma City RedHawks:
The Los Angeles Dodgers will be shifting their Triple-A affiliation from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City next season, according to multiple sources. A group affiliated with the Dodgers is on the brink of purchasing the local pro baseball team. The group is in the final stages of contract negotiations that began several weeks ago with Mandalay, which announced earlier this year it would be selling its five minor league baseball properties.
The RedHawks are in the same Pacific Coast League as the Isotopes, but Baldwin reports the change is perhaps in an effort to give the Dodgers a better evaluation on their prospects:
The Dodgers reportedly have been searching for a city more suitable to evaluate their top prospects. Starting last season, the Dodgers have required Isotopes officials to place baseballs in a humidor to try to counteract the effects of the thin, dry air, Albuquerque being 5,300 feet above sea level.
The PCL is widely regarded as a hitter’s league, with Isotopes Stadium no exception. The situation has been particularly challenging for pitching prospects that are attempting to make their way to the Majors.
Should the deal be completed, this would be the second move for the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate in the last six years. Prior to moving back to Albuquerque, N.M., the Dodgers’ Triple-A team was based in Las Vegas. The RedHawks are currently in their fourth year as the Houston Astros’ Triple-A team.
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