After the Astros announced last month they were parting ways with the Greeneville affiliate in the Appalachian League, the hunt was quickly on to find a replacement. There were five serious suitors for the franchise, which plays its games at Tusculum College’s Pioneer Park.
On Tuesday, it appeared that the search had neared its completion. The process isn’t final, but it appears that the Reds will take over the team in 2018. Appalachian League president Lee Landers confirmed the move was all but done, saying that the transfer wasn’t official, but that they Reds had a clear “right of first refusal.”
The Astros have paired with Greeneville since 2004. Reached last night by text message, Reds farm director Jeff Graupe said his club has no plans to leave their other Rookie-level affiliate, Billings of the Pioneer League. They are adding a farm team without making a subtraction.
Sources also indicated that the Greeneville team is likely to be operated by Boyd Sports, which also operates two other clubs in Tennessee—the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League and the Johnson City Cardinals of the Appy League.