UPDATE: Baseball America has provided an update to their original article with the teams that will be seeking new player development contracts beginning tomorrow. Neither the Huntsville/Biloxi Stars nor the Brevard County Manatees are expected to announce their intention to seek a new MLB affiliation. If this is the case, both teams will automatically have their PDCs with the Brewers extended two years. The Brewers have not officially announced anything in regards to this yet.
Original article is below.
Tomorrow is the beginning of a two-week period where minor league teams with expiring player development contracts (PDCs) can actively search for a new MLB affiliate. This comes up every even year (2014, 2016, 2018, etc.), and generally involves an affiliate shuffle. At the end of the two-week period, any teams who haven't found an affiliate for a level get matched up into an automatic two-year deal with one.
Baseball America has been tracking the deals as they have occurred, and have released a list of affiliates that will be open beginning tomorrow. Included on this list are the top three affiliates for the Brewers: the Nashville Sounds (AAA), Huntsville/Biloxi Stars (AA), and Brevard County Manatees (A). They are one of two MLB teams to not have a deal with any of it's top three affiliates (the Dodgers are the other team). What this could mean is in two weeks, all three of the Brewers top minor league affiliates could have changed.
While it's possible that all of these could end up being resigned, it's very unlikely considering that none were extended before now. Over on Twitter, Jim Goulart of Brewerfan.net is expecting a massive shakeup. Here are some tweets he had on the subject:
Goodbye Nashville. #Brewers can't play where they're not wanted. Hello Fresno, Albuquerque, or even Colorado Springs!? Busy week ahead.— Jim Goulart (@Mass_Haas) September 15, 2014
For Pete's sake, what has Huntsville/Biloxi ownership group been waiting for? All indications have been #Brewers, could Dodgers swoop in?— Jim Goulart (@Mass_Haas) September 15, 2014
Fascinated by the #Brewers/Manatees High-A tap dance, if there's a change in partnership inked Tue., who walked out on who?— Jim Goulart (@Mass_Haas) September 15, 2014
The potential change from Nashville wouldn't be a surprise at this point. Rumors have been swirling about a potential move for weeks, and with the PDC not renewed, it wouldn't be a shock to see Nashville signed with a new team right away tomorrow. Huntsville/Biloxi and Brevard County would be bigger surprises at this point. While neither have been rumored to want a switch, they also didn't renew their PDCs with the Brewers. That means a new team could end up with either in the next few weeks. If either signs a deal right away tomorrow, it may indicate that something was planed ahead of time.
So, if the Brewers don't renew with any of them, where could the Brewers end up? Here are the other open spots for each level, according to the Baseball America report:
Colorado Springs SkySox
Oklahoma City Redhawks
New Britain Rock Cats
Class A Advanced
High Desert Mavericks
Lake Elsinore Storm
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
All of this is still speculation at this point, but with no PDC with any of those three in place, all of this could change in the coming weeks. The only affiliations that are safe right now are with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (deal runs through 2016) and the Helena Brewers (new deal runs through 2018). Beyond that, the Brewers may have a plan in place, or they may end up with whoever doesn't get picked by the other teams. We will have to wait and see how all of it plays out.