From all appearances, the pairing of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Kane County Cougars (Low A; Midwest League) is an example of a strong bond between affiliate and parent club.
It was recently announced that the two sides are renewing their player development contract (PDC) through the 2018 season. While the news was probably expected by many, this PDC extension reflects a rapport that has developed between the D-Backs and Cougars.
For the D-Backs, the Cougars offer exceptional facilities and fan support at the Low-A level. The Cougars, meanwhile, say that the D-Backs’ commitment to strong relations with their affiliates makes them a solid parent club.
Since their original agreement was set to expire after this season, D-Backs’ officials–including chief baseball officer Tony LaRussa–wanted to complete an extension as soon as possible. More from the Chicago Tribune:
“We were nervous until they agreed to stay with us,” LaRussa said. “We were excited when we first came over after spending time together, the way the community treats our players and the facilities.”
For the Cougars’ part, there was little doubt that the marriage with the Diamondbacks would be extended.
“It wasn’t a matter of if we were going to do it, it was a matter of when,” Cougars owner Dr. Bob Froehlich said. “The team has been very competitive on the field.
“More importantly, they have been so supportive to the fans and the community. That’s been a big part of it. We’re very excited. We think that the cultures of the two organizations are pretty much alike.”
With many PDCs expiring across Minor League Baseball after this season, more affiliation news should emerge over the coming weeks and months. To keep track of the latest information, be sure to follow our Affiliate Dance: 2016 page.