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Drillers Announce 10-Year Affiliation with World Champion Dodgers

February 11, 2021 - Texas League (TL) - Tulsa Drillers News Release

The Tulsa Drillers made it official today, signing their new Player Development License (PDL) that will keep the Drillers as the Double-A affiliate of the World Series Champion Dodgers for the next ten years, through the 2030 baseball season.

"This agreement is so important for the Drillers organization," said Drillers General Manager Mike Melega. "We could not ask for anything better than to be partnered with an organization like the Los Angeles Dodgers for the next ten years."

"This long-term agreement stabilizes our future, and it says a lot for the city of Tulsa, our fans and ONEOK Field that the World Champions are partnering with us for the next decade. The Dodgers are committed to player development as the amount of major league talent that we have seen play in Tulsa since joining their system in 2015 is incredible, highlighted by having 13 former Drillers players on last year's World Series winning roster."

This new agreement comes after Major League Baseball announced its intentions to restructure the minor leagues to streamline and improve player development. Each major league club will now have only four minor league affiliates.

"The Dodgers, our player development staff and our players are excited to continue our relationship with the Drillers and the city of Tulsa," said Will Rhymes, the Dodgers' Director of Player Development. "We could not ask for a better partner, and we look forward to seeing many future Dodgers playing at ONEOK Field in the coming years. Thank you to the Drillers and their fans for their continued support of the Dodgers."

In addition to the Drillers, the Dodgers have also extended minor league invitations to the Oklahoma City Dodgers as the Triple-A affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons in Midland, Michigan as the High-A affiliate and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes as the Low-A affiliate.

The reorganization has meant a few changes for the Texas League. For the upcoming 2021 season, it is unknown if the Texas League name will remain, but the league is expected expand to ten teams with San Antonio and Wichita joining the circuit.

If added, the Missions and Wind Surge would join previous clubs Amarillo (Arizona Diamondbacks), Arkansas (Seattle Mariners), Corpus Christi (Houston Astros), Frisco (Texas Rangers), Midland (Oakland A's), Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City Royals) and Springfield (St. Louis Cardinals).

This season will mark Wichita's return to Minor League Baseball for the first time since 2007 with the city opening a new $75 million stadium along the Arkansas River. Wichita is located just 170 miles from Tulsa and would create another close rival for the Drillers. Wichita has received an invitation to operate as the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

The change would mark San Antonio's return to the TL after a one-season stay in Triple A. The club has been invited to serve as the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, renewing a previous affiliation that was in place from 2007-2018.

It is expected that the precise makeup of the league and the 2021 schedule will be announced in the near future.

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Texas League Stories from February 11, 2021

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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