BOSTON (CBS) — On what is expected to be a dark day around the country for minor league baseball, the Boston Red Sox opted to cut ties with the Lowell Spinners for the upcoming 2021 season.
The Boston Globe’s Michael Silverman reported the news.
The decision, however, is not necessarily permanent. It came after MLB forced teams to keep four affiliated teams in their minor league systems for 2021. The Red Sox opted to choose the Greenville Drive (High-A), Salem Red Sox (Single-A), Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A) and Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A). The Single-A Spinners could regain their affiliation with the Red Sox organization after 2021.
Shortly after that news broke, the Red Sox sent out a press release which stated the team is “working to keep baseball in the Lowell community.”
The press release included comments from Senator Edward J. Markey, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Governor Charlie Baker, Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy, Congresswoman Lori Trahan, and Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue.
“We are encouraged by the commitment and dedication from the Red Sox and the City to keep baseball in Lowell and look forward to continuing our work to protect this greatest of pastimes for years to come,” Markey said.
“Over the past year, my team and I have worked diligently to keep baseball here in Lowell. Like everyone in our community, we know how important the Red Sox are to our city and how valuable Lowell is to the Red Sox,” Trahan said in the release. “We are proud to be working closely with [the Red Sox] to not only keep baseball in Lowell, but to also keep the Red Sox in Lowell, and we look forward to announcing our plans once finalized.”
The Spinners have been an affiliate of the Red Sox since the franchise began operations in 1996. A number of well-known Red Sox players — including Mookie Betts, Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez, Andrew Benintendi, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks — spent time with the team. The Spinners’ proximity to Boston has also led to a number of established big league veterans playing with the team during their rehabs from injuries.
Silverman reported that the Red Sox are working with the City of Lowell and a number of poltiicians to map out a “long-term strategy to make Lowell’s exile from the Red Sox family a short one.”
Breaking news..#RedSox won’t have an affiliation with the Lowell Spinners for 2021. Working to get them back though as soon as 2022.
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) December 9, 2020
Wednesday marked the day that Major League Baseball forced teams to choose just four of their minor league affiliates.