Carolina League adding two new teams for 2017 season

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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.

Click here to see the news release from MiLB.