USATSI

The New York Yankees will be moving two of their minor-league affiliates out of Staten Island and Trenton, New Jersey, the Associated Press reports.  Specifically, the Yankees will be relocating their Double-A affiliate from Trenton to Somerset County, New Jersey. 

Meantime, the Yankees’ Class-A affiliate will leave the New York City borough of Staten Island for the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. The affiliate had been located in Staten Island since 1999. The Yankees’ top affiliate at the Triple-A level will remain in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees’ Tampa affiliate will transition from High-A to Low-A. 

Needless to say, this is unwelcome news for owners of the teams that are losing coveted affiliation with the Yankees brand. Trenton Thunder owner Joseph Plumeri released a statement in response to the decision, which reads in part:

“This move by the Yankees removes a key source of income for Trenton. Despite repeated assurances that the Thunder would remain its Double-A affiliate over the last 16 months, the Yankees betrayed their partnership at the 11th hour. By doing so, the Yankees have misled and abandoned the Thunder and the taxpayers of Mercer County, who have invested millions of dollars over the years to ensure that Arm & Hammer Park remains one of the premier ballparks in America. While this community built the Yankees organization up and set minor league baseball attendance records, it seems the Yankees were only focused on trying to cut culturally diverse Trenton down in favor of a wealthy, higher socioeconomic area in Somerset.”

The Yankees’ shuffling of affiliates occurs against the backdrop of MLB’s ongoing and controversial efforts to reduce the number of affiliated minor-league teams by 40 or so. 

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