OKC to Remain Dodgers’ Affiliate Through 2030 Season
The OKC Dodgers are one of 120 Minor League Clubs to sign a Professional Development League (PDL) license, Major League Baseball announced Friday
Dodger baseball will remain in Oklahoma City through at least 2030.
Major League Baseball announced Friday that all 120 Minor League Clubs that were offered invitations to become Professional Development League (PDL) license holders have accepted.
That list includes the Oklahoma City Dodgers, who signed a 10-year partnership with the 2020 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers to remain their Triple-A affiliate through at least the 2030 season.
Oklahoma City has served as the Dodgers’ top-level Minor League affiliate since the fall of 2014 and starting with the 2015 season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh World Series championship in 2020. Their official 2020 World Series roster had 16 former OKC Dodgers, including eight players who spent time in OKC during the 2019 season.
“We are proud to confirm we have officially signed our PDL with the Los Angeles Dodgers, extending our agreement as the organization’s Triple-A affiliate for the next 10 years,” the OKC Dodgers said in a statement. “It has been nothing but a successful relationship since it began in the fall of 2014, and we expect more of the same through 2030.”
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball previously operated separately and worked together via a Professional Baseball Agreement that expired Sept. 30, 2020. MLB has since taken over running affiliated Minor League Baseball and has reorganized the player development system, working to ensure new sets of standards for facilities and player working conditions throughout the Minor Leagues, as well as placing an emphasis on affiliates’ geographic proximity to their Major League Club partners.
In addition, the leagues at four levels of the Minor Leagues have been restructured, MLB announced Friday.
In 2021, the OKC Dodgers will compete in the Triple-A West, which will be made up of 10 teams including the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies), El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres), Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers), Sugar Land Skeeters (Houston Astros), Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland A’s), Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks), Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants), Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels) and Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners).
Oklahoma City will be part of the East Division with Albuquerque, El Paso, Round Rock and Sugar Land and will announce its 2021 schedule at a later date.
The OKC Dodgers competed regularly against eight of its new league opponents in the former Pacific Coast League. Triple-A newcomer Sugar Land, which was previously an independent team, is now the top affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Twenty other Triple-A teams will join the Triple-A East in 2021, which will include three divisions and former PCL members Iowa, Omaha, Memphis and Nashville.
According to Friday’s MLB press release: “The licenses will create many improvements to the experience and lifestyle of Minor League players, such as:
•Player salary increases ranging from 38–72% for the 2021 season.
•Modernized facility standards better suited for professional athletes.
•Improved amenities and working conditions for players and staff.
•Reduced in-season travel for players and coaches.
•Better geographical alignment.”
In a statement, Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said:
“We are excited to unveil this new model, which not only provides a pipeline to the Majors, but continues the Minor Leagues’ tradition of entertaining millions of families in hundreds of communities. In modernizing our Minor League system, we prioritized the qualities that make the Minor Leagues such an integral part of our game while strengthening how we develop professional athletes on and off the field. We look forward to demonstrating the best of our game throughout local communities, supporting all those who are working hard to grow the sport, and sharing unrivaled technology and resources with minor league teams and players.”
MLB Clubs will now have four Minor League affiliates — one at each of the Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A levels.
In addition to OKC, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ affiliates remain the Tulsa Drillers, now competing in the Double-A Central, the Great Lakes Loons in the High-A Central (previously the Dodgers’ Low-A affiliate) and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the Low-A West (previously the Dodgers’ High-A affiliate).