The Lexington Legends today announced they are switching their Major League affiliation. Since their inception on 2001, the Houston Astros have been the Legends’ parent club. In recent years, the Astros have fallen off and this year own the worst record in Major League Baseball, having won 10 fewer games than any other MLB team. Coupled with the move of the Astros from the National to American League next year it is easy to see why the Legends would choose to alter affiliations.
The new alignment is with the Kansas City Royals and will run for four years. The ownership of the Legends previously owned the AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in Omaha. Each year a few teams change alignment in a game of musical chairs as one change in affiliation begets another and so on. Teams sign contracts of two to five years with MLB teams and can only change as their existing contract comes to an end. The available MLB teams are only those who’s affiliation agreements are also ending. Therefore once the Legends decided they wanted to end their connection with the Astros they were left to choose among the MLB teams also looking for new affiliations.
The Legends will remain a low Single A team in the South Atlantic League. A future change to the Double A level has been rumored but that wont happen until at least the current contract with the Royals expires in 2016.