LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers were busy on Wednesday, extending their affiliation with three of their minor league affiliates through 2018. The player development deal with Class-A Great Lakes was announced earlier on Wednesday, and the extensions with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa were also completed.
The affiliation with Oklahoma City was a forgone conclusion, with the Dodgers part of the ownership partnership — Mandalay Baseball LLC — of the Triple-A franchise.
The Dodgers have been affiliated with both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, with their stadiums 107 miles apart, since the start of 2015.
“We're tremendously excited about extending our player development contracts with Great Lakes, Tulsa and Oklahoma City,” Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler said in a statement. “We are excited to see our relationship with these great franchises continue to blossom and are especially grateful for the leaders we've gotten to work with at each affiliate, as they have been an integral part of our development of the young men in the Dodger organization. We are honored to participate in this process with each partner and know we will continue to see strong returns from these relationships.”
Tulsa had a total of 12 players earn Texas League All-Star honors this season, including Brock Stewart, who was promoted to Triple-A before the Texas League All-Star Game and who starts on Wednesday night for the Dodgers in Colorado.
The Dodgers’ liberal use of the entirety of their 40-man roster and beyond has resulted in a high amount of transactional traffic, especially between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. OKC in 2015 alone used 51 different pitchers and 25 starters but was still able to finish 86-58 (.597), setting a franchise record for wins in the Pacific Coast League.
“Our partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been better than we ever imagined,” said OKC Dodgers president and general manager Michael Byrnes. “We have had an incredible string of success both on and off the field, and we’re looking forward to continuing it through the 2018 season.”
With player development contracts extended with Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Great Lakes, that leaves Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Rookie-level Ogden, whose contracts expire at the end of 2016.