KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Down East Wood Ducks on Tuesday announced their move to become the Texas Rangers’ new Low-A affiliate. They’ve also signed a new 10-year deal as part of Major League Baseball’s Professional Development License.
The 10-year deal keeps baseball in Kinston through at least the 2030 season, team officials said.
“We are so excited to sign the PDL and formally accept the Texas Rangers invitation to become their new Low-A affiliate,” Wood Ducks VP Wade Howell said. “We can’t wait to welcome back our great fans and supporters for the 2021 season.”
MLB restructured its minor league system after the 2020 season and once the Professional Baseball Agreement between it and Minor League Baseball ended last September. MLB will now govern all aspects of minor league baseball moving forward.
Back on December 9, each MLB club invited four minor league affiliates to join their farm systems. MiLB clubs were given a February 10 deadline to accept the terms of the PDL after receiving the governing documents in mid-January. Under the new PDL system, all affiliation agreements between MLB and MiLB clubs will be 10 years in length.
Under the new PDL structure, MiLB will feature 120 teams competing across four levels, Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A, a change from the previous structure that included 160 clubs competing across six levels. The Rangers farm system is rounded out by the Triple-A Round Rock (TX) Express, Double-A Frisco (TX) RoughRiders, and High-A Hickory (NC) Crawdads.