Could the six-year marriage between the Chattanooga Lookouts and Los Angeles Dodgers be coming to an end?
Los Angeles has yet to extend its player development agreement with the Lookouts, who have been Class AA affiliates of the Dodgers since September 2008. The Dodgers and Lookouts announced a four-year extension on Aug. 6, 2010, which runs through the current season that only has 11 games remaining.
"We're still working through that right now," Dodgers farm director DeJon Watson said. "Hopefully we'll have some information that we can share on that soon."
Three Southern League counterparts of the Lookouts have player development agreements through the 2018 season -- Tennessee and the Chicago Cubs, Montgomery and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Birmingham and the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs and Smokies announced their extension June 11.
The Cincinnati Reds have an agreement with Pensacola through 2016, while the Atlanta Braves own their Double-A affiliate in Mississippi.
As of this week, the Dodgers had not extended player development contracts with Triple-A Albuquerque, high Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Single-A Great Lakes as well. Should Los Angeles opt to shop for another Double-A affiliate and leave, Lookouts owner Frank Burke would spearhead Chattanooga's selection process among the other major league teams seeking a new partner.
"There is a process to this," Burke said, "and the process doesn't start until September."
Minor league teams and major league teams seeking new player development contracts must submit their intentions to Major League Baseball in early September. There are not supposed to be any conversations between franchises shopping for new destinations until Sept. 15.
"I have not heard anything," Lookouts general manager Rich Mozingo said, "and by the letter of the law, I am not supposed to hear anything."
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