Kernels Have Officially Entered Free Agency

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

A shirt on sale during the game between the Clinton LumberKings and the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Monday, September 3, 2012. (Stephen Mally/Freelance)

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS – No news Monday from the Cedar Rapids Kernels meant big news. You can safely say now the Midwest League club has officially entered affiliation free agency.

According to Major League Baseball’s infamous “Rule 56,” all written terminations of expired Player Development Contracts were due Monday. If neither the minor-league or major-league partner in a PDC relationship provided written termination, a two-year renewal is automatic.

Since no renewal was announced – or planned to be announced – it’s assumed the Kernels and Los Angeles Angels are parting ways after 20 years together. It is believed the Kernels were the terminators in this case.

Kernels General Manager Doug Nelson again cited “Rule 56″ when asked for comment Monday. The club cannot publicly talk about its affiliation intentions without incurring substantial fine.

The next step in the free-agency process begins Tuesday and runs through Friday, when MLB will notify minor-league and major-league clubs who is available. Open negotiation between free-agent parties can begin Saturday and runs through Sept. 30.

All Player Development Contracts for the 2013 season must be agreed to and signed by Oct. 7. PDCs can be two years or four years.

The best bet to land in Cedar Rapids remains the Minnesota Twins, who are believed to be seeking an exit from Beloit.

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