Since 1996, local baseball fans have been able to get a glimpse at future Red Sox players -- or occasionally rehabbing Sox stars -- by taking in a Lowell Spinners game at LeLacheur Park.
But in 2021, the Spinners won't be a Red Sox minor league affiliate anymore.
However, according to the Boston Globe's Michael Silverman, the possibility remains that the Spinners could regain their Red Sox affiliation as early as the 2022 season.
Each MLB franchise can only have four affiliates for the 2021 season, and the Red Sox have extended invitations to the following four clubs for affiliation next season: Worcester Red Sox (Triple A), Portland Sea Dogs (Double A), Greenville (S.C.) Drive (High A), and the Salem (Va.) Red Sox (Low A).
Despite the separation, the Red Sox announced that they are working with the City of Lowell "to keep baseball in the Lowell community" by looking into different opportunities for 2021 while discussing longer-term initatives as well.
“We are exploring what form that could take in 2021, and are committed to maintaining the 24-year-long tradition of baseball in the Lowell community," said Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy in a press release. "We are grateful to Governor Baker, Senator Markey, and Senator Warren for their support of our collective efforts, and look forward to our continued work with Lowell’s public officials as we develop and formalize our plans.”
Over the years, the list of Spinners alumni features such players as Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Hanley Ramirez, and Kevin Youkilis.