The Amarillo Sod Poodles were affiliated with the San Diego Padres for their first season in 2019 and that affiliation would have continued into 2020. But, the 2020 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) season was cancelled due to COVID-19 and no games were played.

Wednesday afternoon, Major League Baseball made its first announcement about the restructured Minor League Baseball affiliation system. Starting in 2021, there will only be 120 affiliated MiLB teams, and they will be equally divided among the following classifications: AAA (Triple-A), AA (Double-A), A+ (Single A-Advanced or high-A), and A (Single-A or low-A).

The Amarillo Sod Poodles will remain in the AA Texas League, but their major league affiliation will change from the San Diego Padres to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Amarillo becomes a key piece of the Arizona Diamondbacks western U.S.-based minor league affiliate roster. Reno will remain Arizona's AAA team, and then Hillsboro and Visalia will serve as the Diamondbacks Single-A affiliates.

“We are proud of our long-standing partnerships in Reno, Visalia and Hillsboro,” said D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike Hazen on Wednesday. “We are also looking forward to bringing Amarillo into the mix as we continue to stress the importance of player development throughout the organization.” (Reno Aces (Triple-A), Amarillo Sod Poodles (Double-A), Hillsboro Hops (Single-A Advanced) and Visalia Rawhide (Single-A))

The Texas League is expected to increase from 8 teams to 10 teams as part of the MiLB realignment.

While Amarillo's affiliation has changed to the Arizona Diamondbacks, many other Texas League teams are keeping their previous MLB affiliations. That includes the Midland Rockhounds staying with the Oakland A's, the Texas Rangers keeping the Frisco Rough Riders and the Houston Astros keeping the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Each of the 30 MLB teams will also continue to field Rookie league teams based at their spring training complexes and teams in the Dominican Summer League.

The 2021 MiLB season is expected to start in early April.

Listen to Amarillo Sod Poodle games in 2021 on News/Talk 940 in Amarillo

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