The Cubs Might Lose John Baker, Minor League Affiliate Swaps Underway, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The Cubs Might Lose John Baker, Minor League Affiliate Swaps Underway, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

After a day of frantic support tickets, support chat, hack-coding, and frustration, I *think* we have the site back to operating normally? Heck, I figure you’ll all tell me if not. Thanks for the patience yesterday. I know that folks were probably a bit distracted anyway by the election stuff, but we do want to offer up our own distraction from the distraction around here.

•   The more important thing here is to celebrate what would be a huge promotion and opportunity for a great guy, and the less important thing would be another stinging loss for the Cubs organization:

•   John Baker, a former Cubs back-up catcher famous for scoring the winning run and being the winning pitcher on the very first John Baker Day, has been on the mental skills side of things with the Cubs for several years now. The guy is pretty universally beloved, and he is presumably very good at what he does. The opportunity to be a farm director (one of the highest positions on the minor league side) is truly excellent, and I hope Baker gets the job if he wants it. You’ll recall that the Pirates are now run by Ben Cherington, whom Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer know well from their days together in Boston, so I reckon Baker is getting a really good recommendation.

•   Ah, memories:

•   This reads like your standard thanks and farewell, but did you catch the line where Brodie Van Wagenen said that Jeff Wilpon, one of the Mets now-former owners, was actually leading things day-to-day:

•   I’m thinking Van Wagenen didn’t love what he got himself into, and now he’s getting fired along with the entire front office. I wonder what’s going to be next for him – he’s a former big-time agent, and he might just go right back into that world, or he could try to find another front office gig. He does have a unique background, and I actually have no doubt he was hamstrung by Mets ownership being a little too involved.

•   Star Wars gear, Nerf toys, ear buds, lights, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad

•   Welp, the reorganizations and affiliations are beginning:

•   A big part of the moves the Yankees are making are to bring more of their affiliates close to New York City, which is probably something a number of MLB organizations will try to do (obviously much easier for the Yankees than others). That means levels will change, and you’ll even see things like the Yankees are reportedly doing, affiliating with the Somerset Patriots, a previously independent ball team.

•   For the Cubs, we already know that one affiliation is going to be going away, since the short-season Low-A level will not exist in 2021 and beyond. Currently, that’s the Eugene Emeralds in Oregon in the Northwest League. That’s a well-run minor league club, so I expect they won’t be going away, but they might wind up in another league with another parent organization. Obviously it’s not a lock that they part from the Cubs org, though. The Cubs’ other affiliates are in South Bend, Indiana (full-season Low-A), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (High-A), Knoxville, Tennessee (AA), and Des Moines, Iowa (AAA). Those are some great relationships with great clubs in great facilities, so I’m not sure to what extent the Cubs would forgo them for geography, especially since that only works if there are proper levels nearby (there are no AA or High-A leagues with teams anywhere close to Chicago, for example). Since I don’t see there being THAT extent of reorganization that there are suddenly High-A and AA leagues that play near Chicago, I’d tentatively expect the Cubs’ four full-season affiliations to remain next year. But we’ll see. I’m sure the Chicago Dogs in Rosemont (independent) would love to find a way to affiliate with the Cubs.

•   You’ll note, by the way, that the actual plan for 2021 – be it the agreement between Minor League Baseball and MLB, or even the structure of trying to play the minor leagues in a pandemic – is still way up in the air.

•   A couple great Baseball is Fun bits:

•   And a promo today:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.