The Boston Red Sox have announced player development contract extensions with a pair of affiliates–the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) and the Lowell Spinners (Short Season A; NY-Penn League). Both of the two-year extensions run through the 2020 season.
Red Sox Vice President of Player Development Ben Crockett, PawSox Executive Vice President/General Manager Dan Rea, and Spinners owner Dave Heller made the announcement.
The Red Sox and PawSox, whose partnership began in 1973, will celebrate their 46th season of affiliation in 2018. It is the second longest partnership in Triple-A behind only the Kansas City Royals and Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League (since 1969). Over that time, Pawtucket has finished in first place in its International League division seven times and advanced to the postseason 16 times, winning the Governors’ Cup title in 1973, 1984, 2012, and 2014. The PawSox play their home games at McCoy Stadium, which was erected in 1942 and is the oldest ballpark in all of Triple-A.
“All of us in the Red Sox Family are proud that this affiliation is the longest in the International League,” Rea said. “PawSox fans are Red Sox fans and Red Sox fans are PawSox fans. The PawSox organization looks forward to continuing its legacy of affordable family entertainment while preparing young stars for the bright lights of Fenway Park.”
The partnership between the Red Sox and Spinners began in 1996, with 2018 marking their 23rd season of affiliation. Competing in the New York-Penn League, Lowell has finished atop the Stedler Division three times (2008-09, ’16), winning a franchise-record 47 games in 2016 with the league’s third-best record (47-29, .618). Since 1998, the Spinners have played their home games at Edward LeLacheur Park, located on the banks of the Merrimack River near the UMass-Lowell campus.
“We are proud to extend our relationship with the Boston Red Sox who have been an integral part of our family for the last 22 years and counting!” said Heller. “Fans throughout Red Sox nation know Lowell as a place where many Red Sox greats have begun their professional careers and with key additions and renovations to our ballpark over the past several years and years to come, we look forward to continuing our relationship as a member of one of the most storied franchises in all of baseball!”
Excluding rehab assignments, 30 players on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster are Pawtucket alumni, including Dustin Pedroia (2005-06), Xander Bogaerts (2013), and Matt Barnes (2013-15). Sixteen members of the 40-man roster have played for Lowell, including Hanley Ramirez (2002), Jackie Bradley Jr. (2011), Mookie Betts (2012), and Andrew Benintendi (2015).
Pawtucket and Lowell are two of Boston’s six domestic minor league affiliates, joining Double-A Portland (Eastern League), High-A Salem (Carolina League), Single-A Greenville (South Atlantic League), and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox (Gulf Coast League).