The Salt Lake Bees and Los Angeles Angels announced Monday that the two organizations have signed a two-year Player Development Contract extension that will keep the Bees as the Triple-A affiliate of the Angels through the 2016 season.
"We have enjoyed our longstanding relationship with Salt Lake and are thrilled to announce an extension through 2016," said Scott Servais, Angels assistant general manager and head of scouting and player development. "The City of Salt Lake and employees of the franchise continue to provide a first-class venue and experience for baseball fans."
Los Angeles has been the parent club of the Bees since 2001. In 14 years as an Angels affiliate, the Bees have compiled a 971-941 record, won five division championships and made two trips to the Pacific Coast League Finals. Salt Lake is celebrating the franchise's 20th anniversary this season and has attracted more than 10-million fans in those years while playing in the 15,411-seat Smith's Ballpark.
"The baseball bond between the Angels and the Bees has been strengthened every year since we were reunited in 2001, and it's a privilege to extend our partnership to 16 years," said Steve Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties. "The Angels are a first-rate organization, and we have had a tremendous relationship through the years that has benefitted both teams and fostered the development of multiple Major League stars."
More than 150 players have come through Salt Lake on their way to playing Major League Baseball in Angels Stadium. The list includes three-time All-Star pitcher Jered Weaver, who set the Salt Lake record for strikeouts after whiffing 14 batters in a 2006 game; 2012 All-Star Mark Trumbo, who set Bees franchise records with 36 home runs and 122 RBIs in 2010; 2011 All-Star Howie Kendrick, who owns a .355 lifetime batting average in Salt Lake; and two-time All-Star Mike Trout, who hit .403 with five triples and 13 RBIs for the Bees in 2012 before going on to win the American League Rookie of the Year award for the Angels later that season.
"We are partners in the shared success of the Angels and the Bees through the years and take great pride in the development of Major League players," said Salt Lake Bees general manager Marc Amicone. "The Angels have deployed a quality coaching staff led by Keith Johnson, provide high-caliber players, and support our efforts to deliver a great baseball experience in Salt Lake City."
The player pipeline through Salt Lake City has been active in 2014 with 13 Bees players to date moving up to the big leagues including Matt Shoemaker, Efren Navarro, C.J. Cron, Grant Green, Luis Jimenez, Brennan Boesch, Josh Wall, Cory Rasmus, Mike Morin, Nick Maronde, Jose Alvarez, Yoslan Herrera and J.B. Shuck.
The Angels 40-man roster has 29 players that are currently playing for the Bees or have spent time at Smith's Ballpark during their careers. Former Salt Lake Bees include starting pitchers Weaver, Shoemaker and Garrett Richards, relievers Morin, Michael Kohn and Dane De La Rosa, and position players Cron, Kendrick, Trout, Hank Conger, Erick Aybar and Kole Calhoun. Current Salt Lake players Alvarez, Maronde, Rasmus, Wall, Boesch, Shuck, Michael Brady, Brooks Raley and Tommy Field each belong to the Angels 40-man roster.
The Salt Lake Bees of the Pacific Coast League are the highest-level affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels at Triple-A followed by the Arkansas Travelers (Double-A), Inland Empire 66ers (Class A Advanced), Burlington Bees (Class A), Orem Owlz (Rookie), Arizona League Angels (Rookie) and Dominican Summer League Angels (Rookie).
The affiliation between Salt Lake City, its baseball fans and the MLB Angels is the longest in Salt Lake's PCL history with the extension reaching 27 seasons. The current franchise is now contracted with the Angels for 16 years (2001-2016), while the previous Salt Lake teams, known as the Angels and later the Gulls, was affiliated with the then-California Angels for 11 years (1971-1981).
Salt Lake begins an eight-game homestand at Smith's Ballpark on Monday night against Albuquerque at 6:35 p.m. Tickets for all games during the homestand, including Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, May 24 with postgame fireworks are available by calling 801-325 BEES (2337) or online with no additional fees at www.slbees.com.