It’s an even numbered year, so that means the minor leagues is facing “The Affiliation Shuffle” where teams and minor leaguers affiliates are allowed to renegotiate their affiliations. This season, we even have two teams in the California League (Bakersfield and High Desert) being contracted and replaced with two expansion teams in the Carolina League.
Two years ago, the Cubs were the major player in the Affiliation Shuffle as they changed their affiliation in High-A from Daytona to Myrtle Beach, in low-A from Kane County to South Bend and in short-season A from Boise to Eugene. But this season, there is going to be no drama at all as the Cubs have renewed their player development contract with Myrtle Beach through 2020.
The Cubs, for their part, had this to say about the deal.
None of this is a surprise, as the relationship between the Cubs and Myrtle Beach has appeared to be a happy one from all indications. The Pelicans won the Mills Cup, awarded to the Carolina League champions, last season and have qualified for the playoffs this season as well.
With this agreement, all of the Cubs affiliates will return next season. Myrtle Beach and South Bend are signed through 2020 and the others have their PDCs expire in 2018.