Apparently the allure of Las Vegas has run out for the New York Mets, who are purchasing the Syracuse Chiefs (Class AAA; International League) and will make the team its top affiliate after the current Washington Nationals affiliation ends before the 2019 season.
That the Chiefs have been on the market is no secret, and it’s also no secret that the Mets have not been happy with the logistics involved in having the Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) as its top affiliate. The purchase of the Chiefs solves both issues: it gives the Mets a long-term home in New York state, and it gets the Mets out of Las Vegas beginning in 2019.
The deal is expected to be announced tomorrow. From Syracuse.com:
Under terms of the agreement, the Mets will acquire ownership of the Triple-A Chiefs from the Community Baseball Club of Central New York Inc., and continue to play its games at NBT Bank Stadium starting in 2019, the sources said.
The Mets would own and operate the Syracuse Chiefs, the sources said, bringing in the resources necessary to build a franchise that struggled in recent years with its finances….
The offer was approved Monday morning by the executive board of directors of the Community Baseball Club on Central New York, which owns the majority shares of the team, the sources said. The remaining public shareholders will be asked to approve the deal beginning Tuesday.
The Nationals and Chiefs will play out the remaining year on its existing player-development contract (PDC), set to expire at the end of the 2018 season. There are a number of Triple-A PDCs up at the end of the 2018 season, but we expect many to be renewed; it’s hard to see a Seattle/Tacoma split or a Detroit/Toledo split.