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Dodgers might move Triple-A affiliate to Oklahoma City, per report

Per a report in The Oklahoman, the Dodgers will no longer call Isotopes Park their Triple-A home after 2014.
Per a report in The Oklahoman, the Dodgers will no longer call Isotopes Park their Triple-A home after 2014.
Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

The Dodgers have had their Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate in Albuquerque for six seasons, but after this season could be on the move. The Dodgers will shift their Triple-A affiliation to Oklahoma City in 2015, per Michael Baldwin of The Oklahoman:

A group affiliated with the Dodgers is on the brink of purchasing the local pro baseball team. The group is in the final stages of contract negotiations that began several weeks ago with Mandalay, which announced earlier this year it would be selling its five minor league baseball properties.

Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber is also chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, which owns the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Class-A Dayton Dragons, the Double-A Frisco Roughriders, Double-A Erie Seawolves, and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

While lip service will be paid to the Dodgers moving out of a high-elevation and high-scoring environment and how it affects the subsequent development of players, the real key here is ownership. The Isotopes are currently owned by Albuquerque Baseball Club LLC, while the reported deal with Oklahoma City involves a team being sold and, though the new ownership hasn't yet been revealed, don't be surprised if the Dodgers are a part of it.

The RedHawks are currently an Astros affiliate but only through the 2014 season, much like the Dodgers' agreement with the Isotopes.

Albuquerque was a minor league home of the Dodgers for 38 years through 2000, including the last 29 years as a Triple-A team. The Dodgers moved their Triple-A affiliation to Las Vegas in 2001, but returned to Albuquerque in 2009.

The Dodgers have denied any such movement, as did the Isotopes, per Rick Wright of the Albuquerque Journal:

"Nobody told me the Dodgers are leaving. It’s too early for that. Our PDC (Player Development Contract) is up in mid-September, and we’re still the Dodgers affiliate," Traub told the Journal on Friday.

Isotopes managing partner Ken Young added: "I’ve heard the rumors, but nobody’s confirmed anything. As far as I know, it’s all speculation."

De Jon Watson, Dodgers director of player development, said "I can’t say anything about that at this time. It hasn’t been talked about internally with the Dodgers."

The Dodgers affiliate agreements with Albuquerque, Double-A Chattanooga, advanced Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, Class-A Great Lakes and rookie level Ogden all expire at the end of the 2014 season.