TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo Mud Hens will be part of the new Triple-A East division when they return to the field this year.
Major League Baseball announced several changes Friday, including affiliate realignment. The new 20-team division will include familiar teams such as the Columbus Clippers and Louisville Bats, but will also welcome newcomers like the Iowa Cubs and Worcester Red Sox.
While many team affiliations are changing, Toledo will remain the Triple-A team for the Detroit Tigers.
"We are very excited for Mud Hens baseball to return for the 2021 season and look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the Detroit Tigers," Mud Hens Executive Vice President and General Manager Erik Ibsen said. "We are proud to be their Triple-A affiliate and will continue to create a best-in-class fan experience, develop big-league players, and support our community.”
Other changes announced by Major League Baseball include salary increases up to 72 percent for minor league players, modernized facility standards, improved amenities and conditions for players and staff, reduced in-season travel, and better geographical alignment.
Each MLB club will provide players and staff to four minor league affiliates at the Triple A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A levels.
“We are excited to unveil this new model, which not only provides a pipeline to the Majors, but continues the Minor Leagues’ tradition of entertaining millions of families in hundreds of communities," Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred said. "In modernizing our Minor League system, we prioritized the qualities that make the Minor Leagues such an integral part of our game while strengthening how we develop professional athletes on and off the field."
The Mud Hens are expected return to the field in 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season.