The Bowie Baysox have officially accepted the invitation from the Baltimore Orioles to remain their Class Double-A Affiliate. The affiliation became official after the Baysox signed Major League Baseball’s Professional Development License (PDL). The 10-year agreement assures that Baltimore’s Double-A team will call Maryland home through the 2030 season.
“We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with the Baltimore Orioles” said Brian Shallcross, Baysox General Manager. “The future is bright in “Birdland” and we look forward to playing our role in building that future. With Major League Baseball’s takeover of Minor League Baseball, it is also vital that we remain jointly committed to what has made our industry so admired – the fan-focused experience.”
This offseason, Major League Baseball (MLB) restructured the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) system following the expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between the two entities last September.
The Bowie Baysox will now play in the newly named “Double-A Northeast League” replacing the “Eastern League”. The Double-A Northeast League will be made up of twelve teams, separated into two six-team divisions, the Northeast Division, and the Southwest Division. The new division breakdown:
Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland)
Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh)
Bowie Baysox (Orioles)
Erie SeaWolves (Detroit)
Harrisburg Senators (Washington)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco)
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets)
Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto)
Portland Sea Dogs (Boston)
Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia)
Somerset Patriots (New York Yankees)
Under the new PDL system, MLB will govern all aspects of MiLB 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 Orioles farm system is rounded out by the Triple-A Norfolk (VA) Tides, High-A Aberdeen IronBirds, and Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds.
The Bowie Baysox have been the Class AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles for the entirety of the team’s run in Bowie, MD. The Baysox began play in Bowie beginning with the 1993 season after moving from Hagerstown, MD. Throughout that time, over 180 former Baysox players have gone on to play in the Major Leagues, with many of them playing for the Orioles. The Baysox also captured their first Eastern League Championship in team history during the 2015 season.
Additional information regarding the Baysox 2021 schedule, this season’s coaching staff, the 2021 player roster and ticketing procedures will be announced soon.