Given the status of John O'Donnell Stadium, it was a bit of long shot for Quad City River Bandits owner Kevin Krause to convince the Chicago Cubs to sign a Player Development Contract here.
Although he still tried to acquire the fan favorite, it didn't go as a surprise to Krause that the Cubs decided this week to put their Class A franchise in the sparkling ballpark in Lansing, Mich., after previously playing in Rockford.
Therefore, negotiations with five other teams continue for Krause and his front office to find an affiliate before the Sept. 26 deadline.
Among the prospective signees are the Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros, who have been playing at JOD since 1993.
The White Sox and Rockies currently have teams in the South Atlantic League. Like the Astros, the Twins (Fort Wayne) and Royals (Lansing) were Midwest League teams last season.
``We've talked to all of those in the last couple days, trying to keep all of our doors open,'' Krause said Tuesday.
When previously promised renovations at JOD failed to materialized, the Astros said they would pursue opportunities elsewhere. Since the ownership change at the beginning of the month, the Astros have remained in the picture, Krause said.
Krause said he doesn't have a preference of the five that have talked with him, nor are any head and shoulders above the rest.
``We've got a track record with the Astros,'' Krause said. ``We know their organzation better, but it would be premature to say that we've got a lead right now.''
If franchises are not able to get an affiliate on their own by Sept. 26, they will be assigned a team by the Commissioner's Office.
``We're willing to go as far along as we can to give (prospective affiliates) a better idea of what's going to take place at JOD. ... We're listening to anybody, keeping the dialogue open and trying to do what's best for this organization.''
The baseball task force assigned to study ballpark renovations is scheduled to make its recommendations to the Davenport city council tonight. In terms of renovation plans, the meeting will likely make it easier for Krause to negotiate.