The Wilmington Blue Rocks have reportedly avoided the scope of a proposed major shake up to the minor league baseball system.
The New York Times is reporting 42 of the 170 minor league baseball franchise could be removed from the affiliate system, or simply discontinued, as part of a restructuring that is expected after the 2020 season.
While there are some unaffiliated Independent League franchises now, the 42 in question would lose the direct connection to a Major League team, like the Blue Rocks have with the Kansas City Royals.
Major League Baseball and MILB have been at the bargaining table facing issues including trying to raise the pay for players, and also the qualify of the facilities they play and work out in.
Wilmington's strong status is likely buoyed by improvements to Frawley Stadium in the past five years, including LED lights, new seating, and improved clubhouse facilities.
The Blue Rocks finished 3rd in the Carolina League attendance with 3,731 fans per game.
One rival who is on the list are the Frederick Keys, the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, whose Harry Grove Stadium opened 3 years before Frawley in 1990.
Two other local teams to Delaware are also safe. Orioles affiliates in Aberdeen and Salisbury (Delmarva) are also not on the list.
If Frederick is forced to drop out of the current structure, the Orioles could possibly need to promote one of those teams into the Carolina League to replace that level in their affiliation tree. All of the Orioles' current affiliates are in Maryland, and there's only one non-Orioles team in Maryland, Class A Hagerstown, that is also part of the 42.