It has recently been reported by Brian VanderBeek of the Modesto Bee that the affiliation change in Sacramento is more than just a rumor. According to VanderBeek’s sources, the switch is a done deal. The Sacramento River Cats are rumored to be on the move to Nashville according to the piece.
There is a new minor league facility in Nashville that needs a tenant, and the Sacramento River Cats are looking to be the new owners of a shiny new ballpark. If this does happen, the assumption is that Raley Field would be the new home of the current Fresno Grizzlies. The Brewers minor league team would then fill the vacancy created in Fresno.
This is all detailed in the article by Brian VanderBeek, linked above.
While this is not official, let’s speculate about why this move would make sense from an Athletics standpoint. While it has been nice for the fans of the A’s to be able to watch their future develop so close to where the big-league team plays, this move would be a shrewd business decision.
Having a team in Nashville means that the media can become more familiar with the A’s prospects. Standouts will gain notoriety, and exposure. It will shine a bigger light on the big-league club in Oakland as well. The more exposure for Oakland, the more revenue they make. You know, business stuff.
Another reason this move would make sense would be that the A’s prospects would be relative unknowns to their competition, specifically division rivals, when they arrive in the majors. Of course each team has scouts, but the A’s prospects will be unknown to the players they’ll be playing against. There will be no more coming up through the minors facing each other. They will have to wait until they make the show to do so.
To feed off of that point, the Athletics believe in their scouting team, and may be taking a chance that other team’s scouts aren’t as astute. This is why the previous point would give the A’s a slight advantage over their competition.
There will be no official announcement on a move from the Sacramento River Cats until their season ends in September.