The current AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres, the San Antonio Missions, have announced a move to AAA, as well as a move to the city of Amarillo.
The San Diego Padres are soon going to have a different AAA affiliate. Instead of moving players up to the majors from El Paso, the organization will soon have their AAA club located in Amarillo.
The move was announced Wednesday, and will go into effect beginning in the 2019 season. The San Antonio Missions, the Padres current AA affiliate, will move 500 miles to Amarillo, but keep the same name.
Of course, the players won’t move with the team, since a mere move north doesn’t result in a mass promotion. This means that some of San Diego’s top prospects who are currently members of the Missions such as Luis Urias, Jose Rondon, and Kyle McGrath will be relocating after next season, among many others. The Missions will then join the Pacific Coast League.
Since the Padres have never had an AAA club very close to the home of their major league club, the move doesn’t have a significant impact in this regard. San Diego will still be shipping players to and receiving players from somewhere in Texas.
The conditions and other factors are approximately the same in Amarillo despite it being so much further north then El Paso. However, the new stadium in Amarillo is expected to take longer than the move, meaning that the Missions may need to remain in San Antonio for the time being even after being promoted to AAA status.
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Once the Missions move, San Antonio will not have a baseball vacancy for long, as the club known as the Colorado Springs Sky will move in to the city. Then, to fill the void left by the Sky in Colorado Springs, the Helena Brewers will move there.
So basically, the Padres and other organizations are shuffling their minor league cities around due to the expiration of contracts and availability in minor league cities and ballparks. This is nothing new, but it will mark the first time prospects will move through Amarillo rather than El Paso on their way to Petco Park.
For everyone, including fans, this will take some getting used to.