The Braves are somewhat unusual amongst minor league systems. While many, if not most, organizations simply sign player development contracts with independently owned minor league teams. The Braves are different in that a lot of their affiliates are owned directly by the Braves.
The one exception to this has been the Braves’ high-A affiliate. The high-A team for the Braves has changed fairly frequently over the last 20 years or so. Durham, Danville, Myrtle Beach, Lynchburg, and Carolina all hosted the Braves’ minor leaguers at the high-A level since 1996. You can now add a sixth team to the list.
Switching affiliates isn’t, by itself, too crazy as teams reach agreements with other clubs with some frequency. However, switching to another affiliate and having them move their entire operation to a different county is definitely worth noting. The Braves have been looking for a while for a new Spring Training complex and one wonders if the move that could benefit the Braves towards that end in the near future.
It is also worth noting that the Braves being affiliated with the Manatees must thrill the team and its fans. The Manatees were a Brewers affiliate before this and their second half could be described as one of baseball’s greatest crimes. Despite that, the Manatees put up reasonable attendance numbers, so hopefully this is a deal that works out for both sides.