The Carolina League is returning to Kinston, North Carolina.
Minor League Baseball announced Monday that the Carolina League will add two teams for the 2017 season as "part of a broader realignment." The California League's Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks will cease operations at the end of this season.
Kinston had a Carolina League team until 2011. The Kinston team will be owned by the Texas Rangers, who have a 12-year agreement with the City of Kinston.
Fayetteville, North Carolina, appears to be the favorite for the second Carolina League team. The City of Fayetteville recently approved a memorandum of understanding for a new downtown ballpark.
The affiliate and ownership for the Fayetteville club will be announced at a later date. The club would play in a temporary location until the ballpark is completed.
The Lynchburg Hillcats and Salem Red Sox play in the Carolina League.