Giants moving Triple-A affiliation to Sacramento 

click to enlarge Raley Field has been the home of the A's top affiliate since 2000, but beginning next season, it will become the Giants' Triple-A home. - MARK JAMES MILLER/WIKIPEDIA (CC)
  • Mark James Miller/Wikipedia (cc)
  • Raley Field has been the home of the A's top affiliate since 2000, but beginning next season, it will become the Giants' Triple-A home.

As the Giants and A's continue their push for the big dance, their minor-league teams are doing the affiliate shuffle.

The biggest winner are Bay Area Giants fans.

With the minor-league season over, many player development contracts between major-league teams in minor-league affiliates have expired. Most PDCs are two or four years.

The Giants will announce this morning that they are moving their Triple-A affiliate from Fresno to Sacramento, which will give the Giants even more benefits than they had previously. Sending injured players on rehab assignments just got easier. The A's would drive players from Oakland to Sacramento for their rehab work.

It will also build the Giants' massive fan base. Sacramento has been an A's affiliate since moving from Canada in 2000. Raley Field, home of the River Cats, is one of the better stadiums in the minors and will allow Giants fans who can't make it to AT&T Park to venture over to Sacramento to see the team's key prospects. The Giants and Sacramento have a two-year deal.

“Sacramento is a great baseball town and the area has traditionally produced top baseball talent for the Major Leagues," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said in a released statement. "Our affiliation with the River Cats provides us with an outstanding player development environment, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with our young players at Raley Field."

The A's, meanwhile, announced Thursday they will be moving to Nashville, another Pacific Coast League member, which means the Sounds will have a road trip each year to Sacramento. The A's and Nashville had a four-year deal.

The A's will have a new stadium as aging Greer Stadium is being replaced by First Tennessee Park, the $65 million ballpark slated to open next spring.

"As we did our due diligence of available Triple-A markets, it became very clear that Nashville was the most attractive," A's general manager Billy Beane said in a released statement. "It is a dynamic city and entertainment center with first-rate ownership, a long history of baseball, and a location that is convenient for player movement. In addition, we are excited to be part of a new era of Nashville baseball with the 2015 opening of First Tennessee Park."

Nashville had been the home of the Milwaukee Brewers' top affiliate since 2005. The Brewers are moving to Colorado Springs, former home of the Colorado Rockies, who have taken over Albuquerque. Fresno is now affiliated with the Houston Astros.

The Giants (Richmond, Eastern League) and A's (Midland, Texas League) each extended their Double-A affiliations for two years. The A's also are remaining with Beloit of the Midwest League for two more years.

sdrumwright@sfexaminer.com

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