GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers appear poised to remain affiliated with their in-state MLB team for another decade.
The Brewers Wednesday extended an invitation to the T-Rats to remain their affiliate for another ten seasons. The deal is not official yet, but is expected to be formalized by late January.
“We are extremely pleased with this news,” said Timber Rattlers president Rob Zerjav said in a release. “We have had a very positive relationship with the Brewers for the past twelve years and we look forward to continuing the affiliation moving forward. I would like to personally thank David Stearns, Matt Arnold, Tom Flanagan, Mark Mueller, and the rest of the Brewers baseball operations staff for their trust in our organization and their desire to remain in Appleton. I would also like to thank Rick Schlesinger and the Brewers organization for their years of support.”
Under this agreement, the Timber Rattlers will also move up a level, from low-A to Class A-Advanced. Zerjav said that will give fans a chance to see players higher up in the Brewers system. He said all of the team's draft choices should make a stop in Appleton.
This comes as the agreement between MLB and MiLB has undergone drastic changes over the past several months. Per a release from the Timber Rattlers:
"The expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball on October 1, 2020 has caused sweeping changes throughout the sport. One of the major changes is that minor league teams will no longer sign a Player Development Contract, or PDC, which had to be renewed every two or four years. In the place of a PDC, teams will now sign a Player Development License, or PDL, which will be renewed every ten years. The final draft of the PDL has yet to be presented by Major League Baseball and will be the next step in this process."
Under the agreement, the Timber Rattlers will also make improvements to their team facilities, creating more space and upgrading equipment.
See the full interview with team president Rob Zerjav above.