The Chicago Cubs have invited four of their minor league teams, including the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and Single-A South Bend Cubs, to remain with the club as affiliates in Major League Baseball’s new player development structure.
The announcement was made Wednesday, as teams from around the league restructure their minor league farm systems ahead of the 2021 season.
The Cubs will retain their Iowa farm team as their Triple-A affiliate. The Tennessee Smokies will remain the team’s Double-A affiliate, and the South Bend Cubs and Myrtle Beach Pelicans will service as Single-A affiliates for the team.
“We are pleased to invite four of our long-time affiliates to continue working with us and to help develop our players,” Cubs VP of Player Development Matt Dorey said in a statement. “These four teams have combined to work with the Cubs for 66 years, and that is only possible with strong ownership, hardworking front offices and welcoming communities at each level of our system.”
The Cubs announced that they had not extended an invitation to the Single-A Eugene Emeralds to serve as an affiliate, and thanked the club for their efforts over the six years that the teams had maintained a relationship.
“We would also like to thank the Eugene Emeralds for their commitment and tireless effort the past six years, highlighted by Northwest League titles in 2016 and 2018,” Dorey said.
Throughout the fall, MLB teams went about choosing the four teams that would remain as their minor league affiliates, with many clubs losing their affiliation with the league in the process.
In all, 119 MiLB teams will remain affiliated with big league clubs under the new system, with teams chopped from the mix heading to other leagues that have partnered with MLB, including the American Association and the Frontier League.
Major League Baseball is now restricting each of its teams to 180 domestic minor leaguers in all, with up to two Dominican Summer League teams per league.