The Minnesota Twins officially invited their new minor league affiliates on Wednesday, with the St. Paul Saints slated to become the team's new Triple-A affiliate.
If the move comes to fruition, it will become official for the 2021 season and see the team's top prospects play at CHS Field in St. Paul. The decision is part of an effort by Major League Baseball to streamline team's affiliates to have more local ties and direct assets with their players.
“The Minnesota Twins are ecstatic about the potential to form a partnership with the St. Paul Saints," Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said in a statement. "We have long admired the creative excellence of Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck and their team in making the Saints one of America’s most successful minor league brands. Simply put, a Twins-Saints partnership would not only be historic, but a wonderful boon for baseball in the Twin Cities and beyond.”
The Twins had used the Rochester Red Wings as their minor league affiliate since 2003, but the partnership between the Twins and the Saints would create the closest affiliation in Major League Baseball with Target Field located just over 10 miles from CHS Field.
The addition of the Saints would remove them from the independent baseball scene where they have thrived since their creation in 1993. Saints owner Mike Veeck brought up the team's past, but seemed excited about their future.
“Our fans have been the lifeblood of this organization since 1993," Veeck said. Marv [Goldklang], Bill [Murray], and I wouldn’t have done this deal without their blessing. When we moved into CHS Field they had one ask and that was not to change our identity. We made that promise in 2015 and we’re making that promise now. I’m excited for this partnership and I look forward to bringing our irreverent fun to the world of Triple-A Baseball.”
In addition to adding the Saints, the Twins kept Low-A Fort Meyers and High-A Cedar Rapids but added the Wichita Wind Surge as their Double-A affiliate. Together, the organization will span an approximate 775-mile drive down I-35 and will give the Twins a six-year-old facility in St. Paul and a newly renovated Riverfront Stadium in Wichita.
“The Minnesota Twins are absolutely thrilled to pursue a partnership with the Wichita Wind Surge," St. Peter said. "Our organization is excited about the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the Wind Surge ownership group and the broader Wichita community. It would be an honor to have the Wind Surge and the brand-new Riverfront Stadium as part of the Twins player development journey.”