High Desert Has Stadium Contract Voided – Now What?
On Tuesday, the Rangers Advanced High A club, the High Desert Mavericks, had their stadium lease voided by the city of Adalento, California for reasons that would make a two year old scratch their head.
The jist of story is the the city was upset with the terms of the lease that was signed in 2012 in which the team was paying the city $1 annually in rent. One dollar. However the team was responsible for upkeep of the city owned stadium.
Several of you have asked many questions regarding this situation and I did some research of my own to try and answer some of those questions.
Before we get to some of the questions though, let’s make sure we all know how the Minor League system works. The way the minor leagues are structured is that the Rangers signed a contract with the High Desert Mavericks, owned by a third party. The Rangers supply the coaching and medical staff, the players, the equipment, basically everything needed to play ball. The franchise, in this case High Desert, signs a deal with a city and provides the big league club a place to play. There are three entirely separate entities at play here.
One of the biggest questions I’ve heard so far is what happens with the players? Where would they play if the city is successful in voiding the contract?
The answer is actually a lot simpler than I thought.
The bottom line is that it is the obligation of the minor league franchise to supply a place for the team the play. They are required to provide the facilities one way or the other. Even if the City of Adalento is successful in voiding the contract with High Desert, HD will have to find a place to play – and they will. Whether that is a short term or long term solution is another story. But fear not, the players the Rangers plan to assign to High Desert will be playing ball this year with the High Desert Mavericks, where exactly they will play might change but more than likely not.
I wouldn’t think that this alters any plans the Rangers have for players. I assume the players they want to send to High Desert will still go there but I don’t expect Dillon Tate or Luis Ortiz to go out that way though.
As far as the Rangers are concerned, they really have no role in this. Like I mentioned above, they supply the players and coaches. They’ll play somewhere, somehow.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is all probably a moot point because the reasoning behind the city wanting to violate the agreement is pretty asinine. It’s my understanding that the city really has no legal leg to stand on when it comes to voiding the contract. It appears that the Mavs will be staying in High Desert and even playing at Heritage Field.
This will strain the relationship between the two parties however and one would assume that when the contract is up that current ownership will be looking for a new place to play. It’s likely they stay in the California League because it’s apparently a pretty complicated process to take a team and switch leagues.
I think it’s all but certain the Rangers will not be returning to the California league, at least not High Desert, after this season as long as they can find a new league to play in. The Rangers would love to go back to the East Coast and play in either the Carolina League or the Florida State League. Playing in the Carolina League seems like a long shot at best for 2017. I’d look for the Rangers to sign another short term deal with a High A club because the Carolina League is by far their most coveted destination.