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Lowell Spinners would lose Red Sox connection under radical MLB plan

The Spinners have been affiliated with the Red Sox since 1996.

Lowell Spinners
LeLacheur Park in Lowell would still be the site of summertime baseball under an MLB proposal for the minor leagues, but it wouldn’t be connected to the Red Sox. –David Lyon for The Boston Globe

The nearly 25-year affiliation between the Lowell Spinners and the Red Sox would end under a radical reorganization proposal from Major League Baseball which leaked Friday, one that would shrink the number of affiliated minor league teams by 25 percent.

Short-season leagues, including the New York-Penn League in which Lowell plays, would be disbanded under the plan, which would eliminate 42 affiliated teams in total. Because MLB views Lowell and the Spinners’ home, Edward A. LeLacheur Park, as “good,’’ the franchise would continue to exist in the “Dream League,’’ an MLB concept in line with independent or college leagues.

The overhaul, first reported by Baseball America and the New York Times, has emerged from ongoing and now contentious negotiations between MLB and Minor League Baseball over their Professional Baseball Agreement, which will expire on Sept. 30, 2020.