St. Paul Saints Join East Division in AAA
ST. PAUL, MN (February 12, 2021) – The home of the College World Series. The city of the Kentucky Derby. Smashville. And Crash Davis’ team. The St. Paul Saints now know which direction their flights will be heading. Sorry to disappoint you Horace Greely, but the Saints compass is pointed in the opposite direction. Major League Baseball announced on Friday that the Saints will be a part of the Triple-A East League in the Midwest Division.
The 20-team Triple-A East will consist of three divisions: the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. The Saints will be joined by the Columbus Clippers (Indians), Indianapolis Indians (Pirates), Iowa Cubs (Cubs), Louisville Bats (Reds), Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), and Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) in the Midwest Division. The Northeast Division is made up of the Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays), Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies), Rochester Red Wings (Nationals), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees), Syracuse Mets (Mets), and Worcester Red Sox (Red Sox). The Southeast has the Charlotte Knights (White Sox), Durham Bulls (Rays), Gwinnett Stripers (Braves), Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins), Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), Nashville Sounds (Brewers), and Norfolk Tides (Orioles).
The Saints are the second furthest team west, just a little further east than the Iowa Cubs. While the Saints are one of three Independent Professional Baseball teams to join affiliated baseball in 2021, three former Pacific Coast League teams (now known as Triple-A West) have joined the Triple-A East League: Iowa Cubs, Omaha Storm Chasers, and Nashville Sounds.
As part of Major League Baseball’s realignment, many Minor League affiliates are now significantly closer to their Major League parent clubs. The Saints are the closest at just 10.6 miles from CHS Field to Target Field. On average, Major League clubs are over 200 miles closer to their Triple-A affiliates.
By officially signing their Player Development License on February 10, the Saints are the Twins Triple-A affiliate for at least the next 10 years. The licenses signed by all 120 affiliates will create many improvements to the experience and lifestyle of Minor League players including: modernized facilities, reduced in-season travel, and better geographical alignment.
While the Triple-A East has 20 teams, the Triple-A West has just 10, split into two divisions: East and West. In the East are the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers), Round Rock Express (Rangers), and Sugar Land Skeeters (Astros). The West has the Las Vegas Aviators (Athletics), Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), Sacramento River Cats (Giants), Salt Lake Bees (Angels), and Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners).
While a schedule was not a part of Major League’s announcement on Friday, the 2021 schedule is expected soon, but for now one question was answered: Eden is to the East.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints