Last week, the Brewers officially were ousted from Brevard County/Kissimmee when the Braves came in and signed a four-year PDC with the former Manatees. At the time, it didn’t seem so bad because the Brewers could simply land in Carolina, which would be a good landing spot for them. Unfortunately, a new report puts that possibility in doubt.
Over on BrewerFan.net, Jim Goulart reported this morning that the Carolina franchise is looking to sell at least the majority share of the team, and the leading candidate to buy the franchise is the Colorado Rockies. If the Rockies follow through and buy the Carolina franchise, that would leave the Brewers with only one location to land: Lancaster in the California League. Their ballpark is nicknamed The Hangar, which also describes the offensive conditions there. It’s strongly in favor of hitters, and with the Brewers already in one ballpark that favors the hitters, this could spell disaster for the Brewers pitching prospects.
Though there’s still time to fix the situation, it’s not looking good for the Brewers at two levels for the next two years. The Brewers one chance of escaping Colorado Springs is to somehow lure Toledo away from the Tigers. Now, the Brewers ownership may also have to pay up and buy the Carolina franchise to avoid a second bad situation.
The Brewers need to make a push and do something at this point. While they have one of the top farm systems in terms of prospects, they could also end up with the worst farm development system in all of baseball if everything plays out this way. That’s an unacceptable situation for a franchise that’s trying to rebuild through the minors. It’s true that the facilities aren’t destiny for the Brewers prospects, but it’s putting them in one of the worst possible situations to develop properly. The Brewers can’t just stack their prospects at two levels and hope they develop ok. They also can’t just draft and trade for good players and then forget about them. They need to make a bigger investment into these players if they want to go the minor-league route for building the teams. If they don’t, they could just collapse at the minor-league level and never pay dividends for the Brewers.
For the second straight PDC signing period, the Brewers could be the last team in line for an affiliate, and the results could be devastating to the franchise. Having to put both hitters and pitchers through environments that favor hitters is not in the best interests of a franchise trying to build through the minor leagues. To end up in that situation would be a major failure on the side of the Brewers player development staff. They need to make a major push for either Toledo at Triple-A, or make an attempt to buy the ownership of Carolina at High-A. If they do nothing and just take what they are given for the second straight period, they are potentially dooming their prospects and extending this rebuilding process even further.