After a 20-year partnership with the Rock Cats, the Minnesota Twins are splitting from their Double-A affiliate in New Britain, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
No information has been released about a new affiliation, but Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra released a statement about the team being affiliated with the Colorado Rockies.
“This is more great news for Hartford. We welcome the Colorado Rockies to Connecticut. We’re excited about yet another step forward towards the redevelopment of Downtown North,” Segarra said.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan spoke with the Pioneer Press on Saturday about the split with the local team.
“We had to do something (by Thursday’s deadline) and we did,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan told the Pioneer Press on Saturday. “We ended up severing. I’m not going to deny. Yeah, we severed, but that doesn’t mean anything. I wouldn’t read too much into that.”
According to the Pioneer Press, the Twins still have the option of negotiating a two-year agreement with the Rock Cats, which are eyeing a move to Hartford in 2016.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty out in New Britain right now,” Ryan told the Pioneer Press. “I don’t think anybody knows if they’re going to move to Hartford. That’s about the only reason we severed is there’s a lot of uncertainty with the affiliate right now. The new owners are fantastic. That’s not the issue. Everything is fine, but there’s a lot of uncertainty.”
Conversely, the Twins could enter into a new agreement with one of six other Double-A teams still searching for major league partners, including teams in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Mobile, Alabama; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Pioneer Press reports.
The Twins have until the end of the month to select their Double-A partner.
“We’re out looking,” Ryan said, according to the Pioneer Press. “Whether or not we end up going elsewhere, we’re out looking. There's a few affiliates that are open. Not a lot, but we're exploring some things. I'm not sure exactly where we're going to land, or whether we might end up back in New Britain."
The Rock Cats said the decision by the Twins will not affect team operations.
"Per Major League Baseball Guidelines, the Player Development Contract cannot be discussed publicly until a final deal is reached. Rest assured, the Rock Cats will have a Double-A Major League affiliate playing in New Britain next April," said Josh Solomon, Managing Partner, New Britain Rock Cats.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart released a statement and mentioned a Hartford Courant report about the team signing with the Rockies.
“For nearly 20 years, New Britain has hosted the Minnesota Twins AA affiliate. While it is unfortunate they now feel compelled to cut those ties, I am relieved to hear that the Colorado Rockies AA affiliate may call New Britain home in the 2015 season. Between our fans, our facilities, and our willingness to work with ownership, this City has proven that a minor league ball club can be very successful right here in New Britain. We thank the Twins for their partnership over the years and we would welcome the Rockies organization to Hard Hittin’ New Britain!,” Stewart said in a statement.