Another PDC to announce: The Peoria Chiefs (Low Class A; Midwest League) and St. Louis Cardinals have extended their player-development contract for four additional years, through the 2020 season.
The current four-year deal was signed in September 2012 and runs through the 2016 season.
“The Peoria Chiefs continue to run a first-class operation providing us with outstanding support of our player development efforts,” said Cardinals’ Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. “We look forward to our continued relationship with the Chiefs and the Peoria community.”
“We are thrilled to continue our great relationship with the St. Louis Cardinals,” said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen. “From the caliber of players they have sent us the last two seasons to the tradition and excellence on display throughout the organization top to bottom this is the best possible situation for us moving forward. With the Midwest League All-Star game in Peoria next June and this affiliation set through 2020 we are very excited about the future of baseball in Central Illinois.”
The two organizations first linked up in 1995 and a year later the Chiefs were Second Half Division Champions at 79-57 under Roy Silver. The 1998 team also made the playoffs going 72-68 under Jeff Shireman before losing in the playoffs. The 2002 team was hands down the best in Chiefs history with a new stadium to show off as well. The 2002 squad won a franchise-record 85 games under Danny Sheaffer and brought home the first ever Chiefs Championship with a 7-1 playoff record. The 2004 season was the last for the Cardinals in the first go-around in Peoria and also saw a playoff appearance. That squad, led by Joe Cunningham, went 75-64 before losing in the first round as a Wild Card team.
After eight years apart, the Chiefs and Cardinals reunited in September 2012 and the Chiefs went 68-69 last season, missing the playoffs by 1 ½ games in the first half. So far this season the Chiefs are 65-62, having missed the playoffs by one game in the first half and sitting three back in the wild card with 12 games to play.
This extension doesn’t affect potential changes this year with Midwest League affiliations. Much will depend on the Chicago Cubs and if the team renews with Kane County or moves to an open affiliate like the Fort Wayne TinCaps. If the Cubs do indeed shift, look for Oakland (which formerly was affiliated with Kane County), San Diego and the Angels to woo the Cougars ownership, with Beloit and Burlington picking up whatever teams are left standing.
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