JetHawks’ pact with Arizona

first_imgLANCASTER -The JetHawks’ six-season affiliation with the parent Arizona Diamondbacks could soon end. Or not. With just more than a month remaining in the JetHawks’ player-development contract with Arizona – a contract that will expire when the regular season does on Sept. 4 – the future of the relationship, by all accounts harmonious, remains uncertain. The JetHawks are among seven California League teams whose PDCs will expire at the end of the season. The San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants affiliate), Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres) and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Angels) are the only teams locked into contracts through 2008. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.But amid a steady stream of rumors suggesting the JetHawks will soon be changing affiliates, JetHawks general manager Brad Seymour suggested that Arizona probably isn’t going anywhere, and Arizona farm director A.J. Hinch supported that assertion, although in less-strong language. Seymour left the door open to the possibility of a change, but indicated the JetHawks are not interested in “making a change just for the sake of change.” “We’re very happy with the Diamondbacks,” Seymour said. “If other opportunities came about, we would look into them …, but it would really have to be special for something like that to happen.” Hinch, who already has visited Lancaster several times this season, said the franchise appears to be well-run. He said he will establish the foundation for negotiations with the JetHawks when he visits Lancaster this weekend, noting that the discussions will be more about process than substance. Hinch said the Diamondbacks will factor in the length of the current relationship with Lancaster, along with the quality of treatment players and his staff have received. He said he will suggest unspecified minor changes that the Diamondbacks would want if they remained at Lancaster. “Overall, we’ve been very happy,” Hinch said. That said, both organizations are rumored to be pursuing other options. JetHawks are rumored to be interested in a deal with the Seattle Mariners, their affiliate the first five years of the franchise’s existence (1996 through 2000). The JetHawks had a turbulent relationship with Seattle under the former ownership group headed by Mike Ellis, which privately complained that the Mariners were reluctant to send Lancaster the top pitching prospects. In addition to the shared history, a future Lancaster-Seattle link makes sense because the new ownership group, headed by Peter Carfagna, has a relationship with the Mariners. Carfagna owns the Mariners’ short-season Everett, Wash., affiliate. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be interested in an affiliation deal with Modesto, which is Arizona general partner Jeff Moorad’s hometown. Seymour said no discussions, informal or otherwise, between the JetHawks and Seattle have taken place. He noted that such discussions would violate rules of the National Association (baseball’s governing body). Proven violations of such rules call for prohibitive fines – $500,000 for parent clubs and $250,000 for affiliates. Teams are permitted to negotiate PDCs with existing affiliates and typically sign extensions earlier in the season. Seymour and Hinch both have had reasons for putting off contract negations. Seymour said the JetHawks team has been busy developing a business plan under its new ownership group. Hinch said he didn’t want to extend or break an existing PDC based on conclusions others had drawn. Arizona hasn’t extended its PDC with any of its six minor league affiliates. “I guess the way I viewed the process is a little bit slower than it has historically been done, but I wanted to visit all the stadiums and draw my own conclusions,” Hinch said. “Now we’re going to start talking.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more