The Legends and the Kansas City Royals announced a new player development contract that will run through the 2016 season.
"The Kansas City Royals are extremely pleased to announce that we have partnered with the Lexington Legends on a Player Development Contract," said Royals Director of Minor League Operations Scott Sharp. "We have long coveted the South Atlantic League as one of the best leagues in baseball for developing young players. The fact that we get the chance to join the league in one of the finest facilities with a strong ownership group and front office staff is a tremendous bonus. We look forward to the new relationship and making new Royals fans in the great state of Kentucky."
"I have had the fortunate experience of getting to work with the Kansas City Royals the past five seasons through our ownership stake in the Omaha club," said Lexington Legends President/COO Andy Shea. "Every single occasion has been the ultimate professional encounter. This is a fantastic fit for Lexington, Whitaker Bank Ballpark, and the Lexington Legends. We look forward to being a part of the Royals continued dedication to the minor league system and the growth of both clubs."
The Legends, who will continue to play in the Class A South Atlantic League, had been a Houston Astros affiliate since the Legends began play in 2001.
"The Legends want to thank the Astros for all their support over the first 12 years of our existence. We can't tell you how much we respect and greatly appreciate all the hard work and dedication they've shown us over the years. We wish the Astros nothing but the best as we both move forward." said Lexington Legends General Manager Seth Poteat.
The Royals previous Class A affiliate was the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League.
Legends Chairman Bill Shea and President & COO Andy Shea were connected to the Kansas City Royals organization through their five-year ownership of the Omaha Storm Chasers club, the Royals Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. The Sheas sold their interest in the Omaha team earlier this year.