Dragons receive invitation to remain in Reds minor-league system

Fifth Third Field
Fifth Third Field

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The Dayton Dragons received an invitation to remain among the minor league affiliates in the Cincinnati Reds farm system on Wednesday.

The Reds also announced they will keep their affiliates in Louisville, Ky., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Daytona Beach, Fla.

Major League Baseball reduced the overall number of minor league teams from 160 to 120. The Dragons will now be the Reds’ High A team, while Daytona will be the Low A team. That could mean the Midwest League moves to High A while the Florida State league moves to Low A.

“We are pleased to have received the invitation, and we look forward to receiving and reviewing the complete terms and conditions of the new Player Development License,” said Dragons President and General Manager Robert Murphy in a press release. “The Dayton Dragons organization has been thrilled to partner with the Cincinnati Reds and proud of what has been a great relationship with Reds ownership and their Baseball Operations staff. Over 100 Dragons players have played in the Major Leagues including Reds generational favorites like Joey Votto, Adam Dunn, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Johnny Cueto, and many of today’s Reds players like Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Amir Garrett, and Tucker Barnhart. The opportunity to move up to the High A level would be an exciting change for our fans.”

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The Reds also announced they will keep short-season teams in the Arizona League and Dominican Summer League.

“We couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to continue our relationship with Dayton,” said Reds Vice President and General Manager Nick Krall in a press release. “It is well known within the game that the Dragons’ front office provides some of the best experiences in baseball for not only our players, but for visiting players and their Southwest Ohio fan base. For more than 20 years, they have been an important part in the development of Reds Major Leaguers, both on the field and in our communities.”

The Reds will no longer have short-season teams in Billings, Mont., and Greeneville, Tenn. The Billings Mustangs will continue to play in the Pioneer League, which will now be part of an independent professional MLB Partner League.

Greenville will have a team in the Appalachian League, which will have a new format. It will feature the nation’s top rising college freshmen and sophomores. It will be a wood-bat league.

“We thank and appreciate the ownership groups and staffs at Greeneville and Billings for their hard work and dedication toward the development of our players and contributions to our history,” Krall said. “Billings owner Dave Heller and general manager Gary Roller have been wonderful partners for a long time. Over the last five decades, almost every homegrown Reds player was a Mustang first. We will always consider Montana part of Reds Country.”

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