An agreement with the Delmarva Shorebirds and two affiliate contract extensions announced yesterday give the Orioles three minor-league affiliates in Maryland until at least 1998.
Baltimore's affiliation with the Single-A South Atlantic League's Shorebirds and player development extensions with the Double-A Eastern League Bowie Baysox and Single-A Carolina League Frederick Keys gives the organization an unprecedented minor-league structure.
All three of the affiliates are owned by Maryland Baseball Limited Partnership. Bowie and Frederick have been Orioles affiliates, and MBLP openly sought the same bond for the Shorebirds since their inception last winter.
"It has always been our goal for all of our franchises to be directly associated with the Orioles," said Peter Kirk, MBLP chairman. "We think that our minor-league clubs, affiliated with Baltimore and located in the Orioles' drawing area, can only generate more interest."
The Delmarva affiliation also solves an organizational problem for the Orioles by giving it a "low-A" franchise. The club had sent "low-A" prospects into a competitive disadvantage at "high-A" Frederick and High Desert of the California League.
Pub Date: 9/25/96