OXNARD, Calif. -- In conjunction and cooperation with Minor League Baseball's efforts to realign its Single-A Classification, the California League today announced that it is downsizing from 10 to 8 teams beginning in 2017. At the end of the 2016 season, the Bakersfield Blaze and the High Desert Mavericks will both cease operations, and the Single-A Carolina League will add two new franchises in 2017.
Cal League President, Charlie Blaney, stated: "Bakersfield and High Desert have been very important franchises in the Cal League for many years, and, while we are disappointed they will no longer be in the Cal League, for the overall good of Minor League Baseball we are working and cooperating with our Major and Minor League partners. As a league we worked diligently to explore alternatives to realignment, but the lack of alternatives combined with the importance of this project to address broader issues within Minor League Baseball led us to help facilitate this Single-A realignment."
Having won the South First Half Championship, the High Desert Mavericks will be in the playoffs this year, and the Bakersfield Blaze are currently in first place in the North Division Second Half.