It’s official. The Augusta GreenJackets have officially accepted their invitation to become the Low Class A affiliate for the Atlanta Braves, the team announced.
As we reported in December, the GreenJackets affiliation switch from the San Francisco Giants came as part of a massive restructuring of the entire Minor League Baseball system.
“Today marks a banner day in the history of the GreenJackets as the road to the Atlanta Braves comes through North Augusta,” Jeff Eiseman, President and Partner, GreenJackets Baseball said in a team release. “SRP Park is officially home to the Braves of the future. Thanks to the vision and leadership of North Augusta, SRP Park is now officially the new home to the Braves top prospects right here on the river.”
While the new affiliations were announced in December, there was a lot of legal wrangling that had to happen before things could be made official. Major League Baseball took over the structure of the Minor League system, which required new agreements with all 140 teams in the minors. Once all those negotiations and changes were worked out, the new setups were made official at the end of last week. The Braves affiliations will now be the Gwinnett Stripers (Triple A), the Mississippi Braves (Double A), the Rome Braves (Class A Advanced) and Augusta GreenJackets (Low Class A). The GreenJackets had been affiliated with the Giants for the last 16 years.
The move also has created a division alignments for every team in the minors. The Greenjackets will be part of the new Low-A East League. That league (which will likely get a more official name with a corporate partnership in the future) is made up of 12 teams and is divided into three divisions. Augusta is part of the new Low-A East South, with the Charleston RiverDogs, Columbia FireFlies and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The Low-A Central division is all North Carolina teams: the Carolina Mudcats, the Down East Wood Ducks, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers and the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. The Low-A East North consists of the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Fredericksburg Nationals, the Lynchburg Hillcats and the Salem Red Sox.
The start date for the 2021 season is still in question, as accommodations are having to be made at every level of baseball for COVID-19 protocols. The Major League Baseball season is currently expected to start on time at the beginning of April, with the minors likely coming along a month or so behind that.
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