DETROIT -- The Toledo Mud Hens will be a Tigers affiliate through at least 2010. The Tigers extended their working agreement with the club for another two years on Tuesday, continuing a partnership that has produced back-to-back International League Governors' Cup championships.
The new agreement runs on top of the two-year agreement that begins this year. The move was more of a formality, officially extending an affiliation that has run since 1987. Only six Triple-A franchises have longer-running associations with their parent clubs. Twenty-seven Tigers players last year had spent some part of their career with the Mud Hens, who set a single-season attendance record last season.
"The Mud Hens represent everything a Major League organization looks for in an affiliate relationship," Tigers director of Minor League operations Dan Lunetta said in a statement, "and this is and has been a perfect fit for each other for many years and hopefully for many more years to come. Toledo is an integral part of our developmental process, and the fan support we have received has certainly played a role in the success of our back-to-back championships."
With the new deal, the Tigers have agreements through 2010 at both Toledo, low Class A West Michigan and short-season Class A Oneonta to go with ownership of their high Class A Lakeland franchise. The one affiliate not under agreement through that point is Double-A Erie, where the current deal runs through 2008. That agreement runs as long as team owner Mandalay Sports Entertainment's current lease in Erie.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.