The Staten Island Yankees, former Single-A short-season affiliate of the New York Yankees, is taking legal action against the big club from the Bronx.
In early November the New York Yankees announced changes to their minor league system. This took away the Staten Island and Trenton clubs. The Trenton Thunder were moved to Somerset, while Staten Island was moved to Hudson Valley. This was met with backlash from community leaders, fans, and front office personnel.
The Staten Island Yankees released a statement Thursday announcing the team will fold for good. They have also filed suit against the New York Yankees and the MLB for “false promises”. One of those promises was keeping a team on Staten Island.
— Staten Island Yankees (@SIYanks) December 3, 2020
The lawsuit alleges that the New York Yankees went against their agreement to keep a Yankee affiliate at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George. This commitment dates back to when New York City built two new minor league parks. One for the Yankees, and one for the Mets in Brooklyn for their affiliate. The Mets site, MCU Park, will remain home to the former rival Brooklyn Cyclones.
Staten Island also claims that the lack of affiliation with the Yankees would leave them “decimated” with no connection to the big league club. This would be a massive blow to the Staten Island community, and to the organization itself. Leaving them with no affiliate would make the team cease operations.
This announcement comes right after New York City announced that they would commit to spending $5 million in ballpark upgrades.
The Staten Island Yankees organization announced that any proceeds from a settlement will go to local charities.
The Staten Island Yankees were in operation from 1999-2020. The team called Richmond County Bank Ballpark home since 2001.