The Phillies and the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs have reached a 10-year extension to keep their affiliation going through at least 2030.
It will continue a relationship that has existed since 2008.
“The Lehigh Valley franchise and Coca-Cola Park are among the crown jewels of Minor League Baseball and we are very happy to continue our partnership with them,” Phillies assistant GM Bryan Minniti said in a statement. “The IronPigs not only provide our players with great amenities but also, due to their proximity to Philadelphia (69 miles from Citizens Bank Park), allow our local fanbase to watch future Phillies in action.”
The Phillies also announced Wednesday that, under baseball’s new minor-league structure, their four affiliates invited back for 2021 will be the IronPigs, Reading Fightin Phils, Class A Jersey Shore BlueClaws and Clearwater Threshers.
Reading remains the Phillies' Double A affiliate for the 55th straight season. Jersey Shore and Clearwater switched levels; the BlueClaws become the Phillies' High A affiliate, the Threshers shift to Low A.
“The Jersey Shore BlueClaws are honored and excited to move up to High-A and continue our outstanding partnership with the Phillies,” team president Joe Ricciutti said in a statement.
The Williamsport Crosscutters are no longer the Phillies’ short-season A-ball affiliate after 13 seasons. They're among six teams poised to participate in 2021’s MLB Draft League, a collegiate summer baseball league that will showcase top draft-eligible prospects.
According to Baseball America, 11 full-season minor-league affiliates were not invited to be part of the minor leagues in 2021. Two were Double A teams and one was the nearby Trenton Thunder, a minor-league staple and longtime affiliate of the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers and White Sox.