Today was the deadline for teams to sign PDCs with their minor league affiliates. As of yesterday morning, both the Triple-A and High-A spots were open. It was looking like a worst-case scenario for the Brewers, as they were set to land with the only unaffiliated teams again. However, a last-minute deal has put the Brewers in High-A Carolina, along with a renewal at Colorado Springs.
First, the Triple-A news. Yesterday, the Brewers officially renewed their PDC with Colorado Springs for two years. After losing Nashville two years ago to the Athletics, the Brewers were forced to align with Colorado Springs as the last team unaffiliated at the end of the signing period. We hoped the Brewers would be able to escape Colorado Springs in two years, but unfortunately there was no available affiliate to sign with. After the few unsigned affiliates re-signed with their previous team, the Brewers ended up renewing for two years with Colorado Springs.
With the deadline approaching, it looked like this situation was going to happen again, this time with Lancaster in High-A. After the former Brevard County Manatees aligned with the Braves, it looked like the Brewers would have to align with Lancaster as the Rockies made a push for the now vacated Carolina Mudcats. It went down to the deadline, but the Brewers late push must have been successful. They announced today that they have signed a two-year PDC with the Carolina Mudcats.
This is a major victory, especially considering the problems the Brewers would have had in Lancaster. Carolina will be more friendly to both the hitters and the pitchers, and should allow both to develop in a better environment. Lancaster is a known hitters park, which could have caused problems for the development of both the Brewers hitting and pitching prospects. Plus, the facility should be an upgrade from Brevard County, meaning the wave of strong prospects about to hit High-A can take full advantage of it.
How long the two remain affiliated is still to be seen. Earlier in the process, Carolina ownership had mentioned that they were looking for a team to take ownership of the franchise. There was interest from the Rockies on that front, but it must not have been enough to get a deal done before the deadline. The fact that this is only a two-year deal might mean that Carolina wants to revisit that in two years.
The Brewers could end up facing the same situation in two years once the current affiliations with Colorado Springs and Carolina end. However, for now they at least avoid the worst-case scenario. Carolina is a welcome addition for a system that needs to develop strong prospects over the next few years, and hopefully it's one that will pay off for both sides.