Orem Owlz, Ogden Raptors May Lose MLB Affiliations
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Local Minor League Baseball teams like the Orem Owlz and Ogden Raptors may be at risk of becoming unaffiliated from Major League Baseball clubs, according to J.J. Cooper of Baseball America.
Negotiators from MLB and MiLB are expected to speak about the reduction of affiliated clubs during a conference call on Wednesday, April 22, according to the report.
The expectation for the call, according to the Baseball America report, is that “MiLB will indicate that it agrees to 120 affiliated teams” in a new Professional Baseball Agreement.
In November 2019, Baseball America reported that 42 teams, including the Owlz and Raptors, were on the list of teams “to be removed from the affiliated minor leagues in Major League Baseball’s proposal”
The Owlz and Raptors were two of 17 MiLB Rookie clubs listed for removal in Baseball America’s report.
Cooper reported that MLB and MiLB “are working on a potential deal to ensure the majority of those 42 markets would have still have baseball with ties to MLB in a system that has long-term viability.”
A member of the Pioneer League, the Raptors are an Advanced Rookie class-level baseball team affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ogden has hosted the Raptors since 1994. The team has called Lindquist Field home since 1997. The club previously played in Salt Lake City from 1985-1992 under the name Salt Lake Trappers.
The team is owned and operated by Ogden Professional Baseball Inc.
Like the Raptors, the Owlz are also a member of the Pioneer League and are an Advanced Rookie class-level baseball team. Orem is affiliated with MLB’s Los Angeles Angels.
The Owlz have played on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem since 2005. Prior to that, the club was known as the Provo Angels (2001-04) and played at Larry H. Miller Field on the campus of Brigham Young University.
The team is owned and operated by Jeff Katofsky.
Recently, Katofsky planned to relocate the Owlz to Pueblo, Colorado. Due to financial concerns brought up by the city of Pueblo, the team abandoned plans to relocate.
Minor League Baseball first announced a delay to the 2020 season in early March due to coronavirus concerns.