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Colorado Rockies looking for new High-A affiliate

The Rockies could land in the Carolina League following Modesto’s announcement of a partnership with the Mariners.

Jen Mac Ramos

The Modesto Nuts today announced an agreement on a new player development contract (PDC) with the Seattle Mariners, who are also becoming part owners of the team. This long-rumored move means that the Colorado Rockies will be looking for a new home for their High-A affiliate.

With the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers leaving the Cal League, one possibility would be the Rockies moving their team to one of the now-empty California ballparks being vacated — like Lancaster, for instance. However, multiple sources have indicated that the most likely landing spot for the Rockies is Zebulon, N.C., which houses the Carolina Mudcats of the Carolina League.

It was announced last week that the Atlanta Braves are leaving their High-A affiliation with Carolina to sign a new PDC with the former Brevard County Manatees (who are relocating to Kissimmee, Fla.) in the Florida State League.

A move to the Carolina League would help the Rockies’ minor league logistics as it would place their High-A team in much closer proximity to their Low-A and Double-A clubs in Asheville and Hartford, respectively. Not only would it reduce travel for the minor league instructors, but it would also prevent players from have to fly from coast-to-coast with each promotion.

Either way, an official announcement should come from the Rockies in the coming days. During the last series of affiliation shuffles in 2014, the club had everything wrapped up prior to the final week of the major league season.