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Littlefield Must Be Jealous

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This is pretty tangential, but I have to wonder if the Pirates are jealous they couldn't do this.

The Blue Jays have notified the league that they won't be back in Pulaski next year, and they apparently intend to drop to five affiliates next season, rather than the conventional six.

That leaves the Appy League to look for another major league organization to come in and take the Blue Jays' place...

The good one is simply finding another major league team to take the Blue Jays' place. But that's more complicated than it seems. All the franchises in the Appy League are owned by major league teams, and the Professional Baseball Agreement allows Major League Baseball to expand or contract the league at its discretion. In that way, the Appy League is like the complex-based Arizona and Gulf Coast leagues.

It appears that what the Jays have done is to take advantage of Appalachian League Rules in order to get out of funding one of their Class A minor league affiliates. The Pirates can't do that with any of their Class A affiliates since they don't play in the Appy League, but how perfect would that be for them? Not only could they pay less money, they could make their minor league system look better by crowding their prospects onto fewer teams. It would screw up some prospects' development, but what the heck? Like letting your farm system go in the Rule 5 Draft in order to get $250,000, this is the sort of innovation Dave Littlefield was born to make.