In perhaps the biggest surprise of the affiliation season, the Kane County Cougars (Low Class A; Midwest League) have shifted affiliations from the Oakland A’s to the Kansas City Royals, under a two-year player-development deal announced today, leaving Oakland and Burlington as the last two Low Class A teams standing.
This will be the fourth different Major League affiliation for the Cougars franchise, which began in 1991 as a Baltimore Orioles farm team and has since aligned with the Florida Marlins as well as the Oakland Athletics.
“We are extremely excited about our new relationship with the Kansas City Royals,” said Cougars General Manager Jeff Sedivy. “Although the decision to change affiliation is never an easy one, after spending some time with (VP of Baseball Operations/Assistant GM) J.J. Picollo and (Director of Minor League Operations) Scott Sharp, we felt that the Royals and their philosophies about the minor leagues were a great fit for our franchise.”
“With the Royals player development philosophy, scouting, and player involvement in the community, we felt that they were a perfect fit for our great fan base.”
“The Kansas City Royals are extremely excited to partner with the Kane County Cougars in signing a two-year player development contract,” said Royals Director of Minor League Operations Scott Sharp. “Kane County has a long history of community and fan support, and the Royals are excited for our young players to be part of that history.”
The move leaves the Burlington Bees (Low Class A; Midwest League) without a parent. There are only two teams at Low Class A without a parent: the Bees and the Hagerstown Suns. Oakland and Washington are the only two teams without a Low Class A affiliate, so the choices are minimal. We’re expecting the Suns to announce a new deal with the Nats when the sale of the Suns closes any day now; this really means Oakland will be supplying players to Burlington next season.
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