The Daily Oklahoman reported on Friday that the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to move their Triple-A affiliate to Oklahoma City, where it says a Dodgers-affiliated group is in the final stages of a negotiation to buy that franchise.
Albuquerque Isotopes general manager John Traub told the Journal on Friday afternoon that the Dodgers have not confirmed with him any intention to part ways with Albuquerque.
“Nobody told me the Dodgers are leaving. It’s too early for that. Our PDC (Player Development Contract) is up in mid-September, and we’re still the Dodgers affiliate,” Traub told the Journal on Friday.
Isotopes managing partner Ken Young added: “I’ve heard the rumors, but nobody’s confirmed anything. As far as I know, it’s all speculation.”
De Jon Watson, Dodgers director of player development, said “I can’t say anything about that at this time. It hasn’t been talked about internally with the Dodgers.”
The Dodgers and Isotopes have had a working relationship since 2009. Before that, the Dodgers played Triple-A baseball in Albuquerque from 1972 to 2000, after which the franchise was sold and moved from the Duke City to Portland, Ore.
Losing the Dodgers to Oklahoma City would not mean Albuquerque’s losing Triple-A baseball. The Albuquerque ownership group owns the rights to a Triple-A affiliation, and it would merely have to make a deal with a major league organization who needs a Triple-A home.
An obvious candidate for that would be the Houston Astros, whose Triple-A affiliate currently plays in Oklahoma City.
Player development contracts between major league organizations and affiliates typically last two seasons. Albuquerque and the Dodgers announced their last renewal for 2013-14 in September of 2012.