Detroit – General manager Al Avila confirmed the Tigers were pulling out of the Venezuelan Summer League.
“It is disappointing because it was a good league and it served a real important purpose,” Avila said Saturday. “But because of the political situation, a lot of teams have moved out. You can’t have a league with only two or three teams.”
With the Tigers and Cubs pulling out, only two teams remained. Avila said the Tigers will continue to maintain their baseball academy in Venezuela.
“Yes, we will still have an academy there year-round,” he said. “And we will have a team in the Parallel League in the winter time. We will use the academy to weed out players, for tryouts and then use it for games in the Parallel League.”
The Parallel League is essentially a minor league system for winter league teams. It’s a developmental league with no paid attendance.
Instead of adding a second team in the Dominican Winter League, as many clubs have done, the Tigers are expected to add another team in the Gulf Coast League, joining the Lakeland Flying Tigers.