The Cincinnati Reds and the Chattanooga Lookouts will be together for at least the next two years. David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press confirmed that it will be announced later today at a press conference in Chattanooga.

It’s not exactly shocking at this point. As I reported yesterday, it seemed that we all had heard the rumors of it for a few days, and while I was unable to get anyone on record about it, there was essentially a wink and a nod coming from a few places that it was happening and we were just awaiting the announcement.

Cincinnati and Chattanooga have agreed to a two-year Player Development Contract. That will push the Reds in the Southern League for at least the 2019-2020 seasons. The Press conference is at 3pm this afternoon in Chattanooga. Eric Lee, who was just announced as the Senior Director of Player Development earlier today, will be in attendance on behalf of the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds and Lookouts have been affiliated with each other in the past. From 1988-2008 the two worked together. It was after the 2008 season that saw the Reds go through a few affiliates before reuniting with Chattanooga. The Reds first went to Carolina with the Mudcats for three years. Then they moved on to Pensacola four years after that.

This will be updated after the press conference if there’s any new information that seems worth adding.

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14 Responses

  1. Ghettotrout1

    Doug do you know why the Reds and Chattanooga broke it off the first time?

    • Doug Gray

      I really don’t. That was after the 2008 season. While I was running the site, it was not my full time gig at the time, my contacts within the organization and even minor league baseball at that time were very, very limited.

    • MK

      I had one of their employees tell me the ownership changed and the new owner was a Brooklyn fan who thought incorrectly that the Dodger name would increase attendance and make them more money.

    • Charles Tankersley

      Living in the Chattanooga area, the rumor I heard was that Burke the owner got mad because the Reds did not stop to play a game on their way home from spring training. I don’t know for sure but, that was the rumor among other things. The Reds did stop when Chattanooga opened their new stadium and played Baltimore. They have a different owner now.

  2. Brad Stein

    Reds were forced out by Tommy Lasorda and his history with the team. Reds didnt want to leave.

    That Lookouts are limited with what they team can do in regards to updating the amenties. No room to expand being on top of a hilltop. Playing surface also needs to be redone.

    Thanks Reds for the history in Pensacola.

  3. Jami Sanderson

    I was never a baseball fan (my husband was) until the Studers got involved in bringing baseball to Pensacola and I started going to games.

    The only MiLB team we have been familiar with has been the Reds.

    Then we became “parents.” As host parents, my husband and I really, truly have taken care of our players and we are sad that some of them won’t be back “home” again (but with trades, injuries, etc. you never know anyway). We will miss having them dearly, but will to see them when the Reds come here to play (who to cheer for)?

    That being said, the only thing constant in life is change and we are excited to welcome another team to town—whichever team it is. I know for many of you Reds fans in Ohio, the AA team being in Chattanooga will make it easier for you to see your guys come up through the minors.

    We wish nothing but the best to the Reds organization and players and thank them for the truly great times in Pensacola and an education about the game of baseball. Now, what am I going to do with all this Reds baseball equipment….LOL?

    • Doug Gray

      Chattanooga is closer, for sure. But, I’ve been telling people the past few days….. if you’re going to plan a vacation to see the Reds Double-A team, plan around when they visit Pensacola and go there for baseball and the beach. Lol.

      As for all of that Reds stuff…. ebay? Lol

  4. MK

    Didn’t the Mudcats and Blue Wahoos basically hold the same spot in the Southern League as the Mudcats decided to become a Class A Team in the Carolina League and Pensacola took their place?

    • Doug Gray

      The owner of the Pensacola team bought another team, and made a few moves to drop Carolina to Advanced-A, and then have Pensacola take over that spot left vacated in Double-A. It was a series of moves that made it all happen, but yes – it was basically the same spot.

      • DHud

        Doug, what dictates which franchises are eligible minor league affiliates and at what level?

      • Doug Gray

        That all goes back to forever ago. Teams don’t often switch levels. And when they do, it’s usually because someone bought two teams, is moving one to a new city and replacing that team with another team.

        Developmental contracts between MLB teams and the minor league owned teams are on 2 or 4 year deals. In situations where the MLB team owns the actual minor league club, that obviously doesn’t apply. And in a few scenarios there are minor league clubs in the territory rights of a Major League team, and while they still need to have a contract, the MLB team basically has the rights to say who can and can’t play there. Dayton is like that. They are too close to Cincinnati, so the Reds have the right to allow or not allow another franchise to play there. So short of the Reds losing their minds, the Dayton Dragons will always be a Reds affiliate.

        Otherwise, it’s just a deal on a 2 or 4-year basis and if the two sides don’t choose to extend that deal, then they both look at the other available options and they hope for the best. Sometimes that doesn’t work out and you wind up in Bakersfield (well, not anymore since that franchise doesn’t exist).

  5. Charles Tankersley

    There are quite a few Reds fans in Chattanooga. As a kid Cincinnati was the closet team from Chattanooga. Then Atlanta got the Braves. A lot of people from here would drive to Cincy on the weekends during the 1950’s to see the Reds. Interstate 75 runs through Chattanooga and Cincinnati. You can drive it in less than 6 hours. The Reds representive in is on sports radio in Chattanooga. They are talking about building a new stadium. Eric Lee said Chattanooga contacted them. Lee said they are hopeful for a long term agreement. He said the Lookouts are confident about a new stadium.

  6. Rich

    I use to work at UTC from 1987-88 and lived walking distance to the ballpark from UTC’s campus. I actually got to see Jim Abbot pitch a game there too. Now, I am motivate to make a trip to Chattanooga to catch some games. Plus, Chattanooga has really revitalized itself as kind of a mecca for recreation destination tourism which I love (ex. cycling, hiking, whitewater rafting).

  7. Randy in Chatt

    Glad the team is back in town. It just didn’t feel right with the hated Lasorda loving Burke then the why are they here Twins in town. Happy times are here again in the Scenic City.