PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs and the Boston Red Sox have a new agreement, linking the Major and Minor League teams for at least another 10 years through the 2030 season.
The Sea Dogs announced Friday that they accepted the invitation from Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Red Sox to join MLB’s new player development structure by signing a Professional Development License (PDL).
“We are thrilled to have this new long-term affiliation agreement in place and look forward to continuing our tradition of being the Double-A home of so many future Red Sox stars,” Sea Dogs’ Chairman Bill Burke said in a release.
The Sea Dogs will serve as Boston’s Double-A affiliate and will play in the Northeast League. The Northeast League will be comprised of two divisions.
The Northeast Division will include:
- Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets)
- Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
- New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays)
- Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
- Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies)
- Somerset Patriots (Yankees)
The Southwest Division will include:
- Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland)
- Altoona Curve (Pirates)
- Bowie Baysox (Orioles)
- Erie SeaWolves (Tigers)
- Harrisburg Senators (Nationals)
- Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
According to an MLB release, 120 Minor League clubs were offered this invitation and have accepted.
Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “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. 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. We look forward to demonstrating the best of our game throughout local communities, supporting all those who are working hard to grow the sport, and sharing unrivaled technology and resources with minor league teams and players.”
The Sea Dogs became affiliated with the Red Sox in 2003. Since then, the Portland-based team has gotten to the playoff five times, held the division title twice, and even won the Eastern League championship for the first time in franchise history.
The Sea Dogs’ home is Hadlock Field, but there are traces of Fenway in the park with a replica Green Monster—dubbed the “Maine Monster.”
Sea Dogs’ Treasurer Sally McNamara said, “We can’t wait to host fans again at Hadlock soon, and we thank the Red Sox for continuing to place their trust in us. This affiliation agreement, along with our new relationship with Major League Baseball, means that the future of baseball in Portland is very bright."
The Sea Dogs explained that new player development structure will provide the team with access to the MLB’s partnerships, tools, technology, and content which will help the Sea Dogs enhance the fan experience, provide more resources, and improve player development.
The Sea Dogs organization says with this structure, players will “benefit from increased compensation, a better lifestyle, and a more holistic approach to player development that incorporates wellness, nutrition, reduced travel times, a focus on nutrition, and access to best practices from around baseball.”
“This is an incredibly exciting day for our team,” Sea Dogs President and General Manager Geoff Iacuessa said. “We are very proud to be a part of the Boston Red Sox system and continue to do what we do best – create a best-in-class fan experience, develop big league ballplayers, grow our business and support our community. Our fans can rest assured that the future of baseball in Portland is strong.”