After speculation on Tuesday about the future of the Winnipeg Goldeyes belonging to the Northern League, the team has announced a merger with the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball Clubs, effective immediately.
Also joining the Goldeyes are former Northern League partner teams the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Gary SouthShore RailCats and Kansas City T-Bones, which brings the American Association to 14 teams.
The Goldeyes will belong to the AA’s North Division, reuniting with the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants and St. Paul Saints. Fargo-Moorhead will also play in the North Division.
“This is an exciting day for the Winnipeg Goldeyes,” said owner Sam Katz in a statement. “The merger will reestablish the competitive rivalries the Goldeyes once had with the likes of St. Paul, Sioux City, Sioux Falls and Lincoln, while maintaining the longstanding rivalries with Fargo-Moorhead, Gary and Kansas City.”
The Central Division will be comprised of Gary SouthShore, Kansas City, Lincoln Saltdogs, Sioux City Explorers and Wichita Wingnuts, while the South Division remains intact.
One hundred regular season games will be played in the American Association, with the complete schedule being announced in the coming weeks.
“Following the regular season, the winners of each division and one wild card team will make the playoffs,” a news release from the Goldeyes read. “Both rounds of the playoffs will be best-of-five series.”
“It’s an exciting day for the American Association,” Commissioner Miles Wolff said. “We’re adding four clubs that have excellent operations on and off the field, and it’s going to make us a very strong 14-team league.”
The Goldeyes first joined the Northern League in 1994.
American Association Divisional Alignment
Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants
St. Paul Saints
Gary SouthShore RailCats
Kansas City T-Bones
Sioux City Explorers
El Paso Diablos
Fort Worth Cats
Grand Prairie AirHogs