There are reports circling that the Toronto Blue Jays will cut ties with their minor league affiliate in Vancouver due to restructuring.
According to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, the Vancouver Canadians will become the Oakland Athletics Single-A affiliate, however, there are still plenty of moving parts before the deal involving the Blue Jays short-season Single-A affiliate will become official.
Major League Baseball has proposed a plan to eliminate 42 minor league teams throughout the lower ranks. The contraction would tentatively see the Jays lose both their short-season Single-A team in Vancouver and their Advanced Rookie affiliate in Bluefield.
The Blue Jays began their decade-long affiliation with the Vancouver Canadians in 2011 following a previous affiliation with the Athletics. The Canadians have celebrated a number of short-season championships during their proud history with the Jays organization.
Vancouver is the Blue Jays lone Canadian minor league affiliate so it is unfortunate to see the Canadians leaving the organization due to restructuring. The proposed overhaul of the farm systems across Major League Baseball would see every organization partnered with four full-season minor-league franchises.
The Rookie league affiliates would be based out of their respective Spring Training complexes with Single, Double, and Triple-A remaining primarily status-quo. There has been no indication that Dunedin, Lansing, New Hampshire, or Buffalo would be affected by the league wide changes.
Buffalo housed the Jays this past season when the team was not permitted to play in Canada due to the COVID-19 restrictions mandated by the Canadian government. All indications point to Buffalo returning to support the Triple-A program in 2021.
There have been a plethora of changes of late surrounding the minor league ranks including the entire amateur draft process. Unfortunately, the Jays will lose a great partnership with a Canadian affiliate as a result of these latest changes under Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Thanks for the memories, Vancouver.