With the new season of Tulsa Drillers baseball, expect to see some unfamiliar faces—twenty-five of them, to be exact. The Tulsa Drillers have ended their 12-year partnership with the Colorado Rockies and have instead become the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The new move makes the Dodgers only the third team to be affiliated with Tulsa, following the Texas Rangers (1977–2002) and the Rockies (2003–2014).
The Drillers were a popular choice for re affiliation, due to good facilities and high attendance (Tulsa was fourth among all Double-A teams in attendance last year). Other potential teams that could have taken the Drillers were the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Minnesota Twins, as well as the possibility of re-signing with the Rockies.
These affiliations work through what are called “Player Development Contracts,” agreements between the major league team and the minor league team’s ownership.
The minor league ownership handles the business aspect of the deal, handling things such as ticket prices and promotions. Meanwhile, the major league team handles the issues of the coaching staff and the team itself.
The Dodgers also signed the Oklahoma City Redhawks to be a Triple-A affiliate. It will be the first time in thirteen years that both Oklahoma teams share the same affiliation.