It’s official and totally expected: the San Francisco Giants and Sacramento River Cats (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are signing a new player development contract.
The Giants had been affiliated with the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) since that team’s inception, while the River Cats have been a farm team of the Oakland Athletics since arriving in Sacramento in 2000. But River Cats ownership declined a renewal with the A’s and instead sought out a new deal with a very willing Giants front office.
The move is a win for both teams. The River Cats will get a ton more media play in Giants’ strongholds in the south Bay and Silicon Valley. The Giants will get exposure and potential expanded media rights in northern California.
“First and foremost, the Giants want to express our sincere appreciation to the Fresno community, in particular to Mayor Ashley Swearengin, the Grizzlies ownership and the fans, for their longtime support of our club,” said Giants President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer. “It was a difficult decision to move our affiliate, but ultimately we felt that the proximity of the River Cats to San Francisco was critical to the development of our players. We look forward to working with the River Cats organization to continue to deliver a top baseball experience to our players and the fans.”
“We appreciate the 15 successful years we’ve had with the Oakland Athletics,” said River Cats President Jeff Savage, “and we’re grateful for the tremendous support that the region has shown us. Our mission here at Raley Field has always been, and always will be, giving the Sacramento community the best fan experience possible. We’re extremely excited to join the Giants family, and can’t wait for our 2015 home opener on April 9.”
“Sacramento is a great baseball town and the area has traditionally produced top baseball talent for the Major Leagues. Our affiliation with the River Cats provides us with an outstanding player development environment, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with our young players at Raley Field,” said Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean.
The official announcement is set for tomorrow.
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