Minnesota Twins: Will the St. Paul Saints be the Twins’ next AAA team?

Minnesota Twins equipment bag sitting in the dugout prior. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins equipment bag sitting in the dugout prior. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

A major re-shuffle is happening in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system. Could this open up a spot for the St. Paul Saints to jump in?

After COVID-19 rocked the baseball world and canceled the Minor League Baseball season, this left entire organizations out in the cold. While the Minnesota Twins did their part to help their minor leaguers, reorganization of the MiLB system is drastically changing everything we know about the Twins’ system and beyond.

In 2019, here’s how the Minnesota Twins system looked:

  • MLB: Minnesota Twins
  • AAA: Rochester Red Wings
  • AA: Pensacola Blue Wahoos
  • High-A: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (Miracle)
  • Low-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
  • Rookie League: Elizabethton Twins, GCL Twins
  • Dominican Summer League: DSL Twins

The system as it was formerly known is now gone. The Elizabethton Twins were already out the door, as the Twins affiliate since 1974 was erased as part of a league-wide effort to cut down MiLB teams (only the GCL Twins were allowed to remain).

Now, over the last couple of days, more changes have hit. First, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (who had a contract for 2019 and 2020 only) are rumored to be becoming an affiliate of the Marlins. This change isn’t a major surprise, as there isn’t a long partnership between the two and the geography isn’t great.

Next, the big shoe dropped. The Twins announced that they would no longer be affiliated with their Triple-A club, the Rochester Red Wings:

This is extremely sad for Twins fans, as the Rochester Red Wings had previously been the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate since 2003. The Red Wings are the oldest non-major level sports franchise, continuously operating since 1899.

With this news, there also comes the news that Advanced-A (High-A) and Single-A ball could possibly be moving around. The Twins will likely hold on to Fort Myers (their affiliate since 1992 and spring home) and Cedar Rapids (geographically sound, affiliate since 2013) regardless of any adjusting.

This leaves the Twins new system currently looking like this:

  • MLB: Minnesota Twins
  • AAA: Empty
  • AA: Empty (Likely)
  • High-A/A: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels and Cedar Rapids Kernels
  • Rookie League: GCL Twins
  • Dominican Summer League: DSL Twins

With so much uncertainty in the months ahead, the Twins would have to feel pretty strongly about bringing on a new team as their AAA affiliate to get rid of the Red Wings, as the Red Wings are the gold standard in Triple-A.

This leads me to believe that a deal may be getting closer between the St. Paul Saints. Ever since the Saints announced they would be joining the minor league ranks, the Twins have been eyeing them heavily.

La Velle E Neal III has reported on this, and while there are still several snags (including price and stadium size), the Twins would likely be willing to work through them to have their Triple-A ball club just 25 minutes away.

While this doesn’t answer who the Double-A club will be (maybe the Saints save money and join at the Double-A level) or what will happen at the A level, it’s looking more and more likely we will be able to watch Minnesota Twins prospects in the Twin Cities very soon. Let’s hope this picture cleans up

Next. Minnesota Twins: One Player the Twins should sign at each Position. dark