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Ottawa Yankees

Posted by: The Bull Dog Ken Gray

The New York Yankees are divesting themselves of their minor league baseball franchise ownerships and that might have an effect on who the tenant next year will be at Ottawa Stadium on Coventry Road.

Ballpark Digest is reporting that talk is circulating in minor league and Major League Baseball circles that would see the Yankees Triple-A affiliate move to Ottawa next year while the Scranton team’s stadium is under construction, then the Double-A Eastern League Erie SeaWolves would be moved to Ottawa in 2013:

Here’s a scenario floating around some baseball circles. Mandalay moves the SWB Yankees to Ottawa for a season. There are no issues to doing this: No team holds a lease for the facility for 2012 and beyond (the semi-pro Ottawa Fat Cats’ lease ended at the end of their 2011 season), and we’re guessing the city would love to have an affiliated tenant again.

After 2012, the Yankees return to PNC Field. Mandalay then shifts the Eastern League’s Erie SeaWolves to Ottawa and buys a NY-Penn League team to move to Erie. Erie is probably much better suited to be a short-season market, and Ottawa certainly would be a fine addition to the Eastern League. We’re not saying this is a firm plan or anything more than some important folks thinking out loud, but it’s certainly being floated around by some owners in the know. We expect a decision to come down the pike soon, though; 2012 is just around the corner.

We know that there are some Eastern League franchises about which minor league baseball is concerned. And we know that College Councillor Rick Chiarelli has been spearheading a drive to bring an affiliated (probably with the Blue Jays) Double-A team to Ottawa in 2014. We know that city officials have met in Mayor Jim Watson’s boardroom with an investment banker representing minor league ball clubs interested in selling a franchise to at least three Ottawa business interests. All parties are pleased with the progress to date.