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Mets to Vegas; Blue Jays to Buffalo

Las Vegas 51sThe New York Mets announced a new player-development deal with the Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) — which means an affiliation deal for the only two players left standing: the Toronto Blue Jays and the Buffalo Bisons (Class AAA; International League).

“We are familiar with many of the front office personnel with the Mets,” 51s Executive Director Don Logan said. “I’ve known Sandy Alderson (Mets GM) for 20 years to go along with J.P. Ricciardi (Special Assistant to the GM), Paul DePodesta (VP, Player Development & Scouting), Dick Scott (Minor League Field Coordinator) and Terry Collins (Manager). These individuals are all very familiar with Las Vegas from the time they spent here with other organizations. We are excited to welcome the Mets as our new Triple-A affiliate.”

This will mark the fourth Major League Baseball affiliation for the Las Vegas franchise in the 30-year history as a member of the PCL.

“We are excited about our new partnership with the Las Vegas 51s and the city of Las Vegas, one which values equally player development, winning and community involvement,” Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said.

“We are looking forward to working with the New York Mets as our new affiliate,” 51s General Manager Chuck Johnson added. “The Mets will continue to provide quality players for us on the field that our fans will enjoy watching play. We are also excited to have the New York “brand” in the Las Vegas market.

“From the 51s perspective, nothing is going to change from our end. We will continue to provide affordable family entertainment to go along with the promotional nights (ie, fireworks, giveaway items) and the outstanding caliber of competition that typifies PCL baseball.

“We had a great relationship with Toronto for four years and the Blue Jays front office was fantastic to deal with and they provided an excellent product on the field with some outstanding players (ie, J.P. Arencibia, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brett Lawrie). We understand with the lack of player amenities at Cashman Field and the proximity of Buffalo to Toronto (100 miles), it makes sense geographically to move to Buffalo.”

Read that last graf again: it’s not usual to see a MiLB GM use an occasion like this to take a shot at his own facility while acknowling a new partner. It may be true, but it does contain a high level of candor you usually don’t see in an MiLB front office.

With the Mets and 51s uniting, it means the only two Triple-A teams left without a partner — Toronto and Buffalo — have a deal imminent. Most in baseball saw this coming earlier this year; the only issue is when the new affiliation is announced. We’re guessing the deal was signed tonight at Rogers Centre and will be announced tomorrow.

Here’s a look at the current affiliate status.


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