The Buffalo Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays announced today that they have signed a two-year extension of their current Player Development Contract, ensuring the Bisons will remain the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate through the 2020 season. The Bisons have served as the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate since 2013.
"Having a strong Major League parent club that is willing to support our efforts both on the field and off is extremely important to our overall success and the Toronto Blue Jays have been and continue to be a fantastic partner of ours since day one," said Bisons Vice President/General Manager Mike Buczkowski. "We're looking forward to continuing this relationship and bringing the excitement of both our clubs to the great baseball fans in Western New York, Southern Ontario and in Toronto."
"We are very proud to extend our relationship with the Rich family and the Buffalo Bisons," said Blue Jays Director of Player Development Gil Kim. "The first class treatment that our players receive in Buffalo is a testament to the leadership of Jon Dandes, Mike Buczkowski and the entire Bisons organization." "The Bisons are instrumental in helping to create the optimal environments, both on and off the field, so that our players can maximize their potential en route to Toronto. We look forward to this relationship continuing for many years to come."
The Blue Jays' farm system has recently received many accolades as one of baseball's best, including being ranked the 9th best organization by MLB.com. Their list of top-end prospects includes two of the game's highest rated players in all of minor league baseball: 3B Vladimir Guerrero (#3) and SS Bo Bichette (#13). Several other prospects, including OF Anthony Alford (Blue Jays #3), C Danny Jansen (Blue Jays #6), LHP Ryan Borucki (Blue Jays #8), INF Richard Urena (Blue Jays #11), C Reese McGuire (Blue Jays #14) and 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays #15) have started the 2018 season in Buffalo.
Of course, Bisons fans have become used to seeing prospects play at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo before making their big league debuts with the Blue Jays. CF Kevin Pillar (2013-2015), RHP Marcus Stroman (2014-2015), RHP Aaron Sanchez (2015), RHP Ryan Tepera (2014-2016) and RHP Danny Barnes (2016-2017) and OF Teoscar Hernandez (2017-2018) all wore a Bisons uniform before joining Toronto. Bisons fans have also enjoyed watching baseball stars make injury rehabilitation appearances with the Herd, including SS Jose Reyes, DH Edwin Encarnacion and RF Jose Bautista.
In the first five seasons with the Blue Jays, the Bisons have had 12 International League mid-season All-Stars and five post-season IL All-Stars. In 2015, infielder Matt Hague won the International League batting title and was the Bisons' ninth IL MVP in franchise history.
Over 2.7 million fans have enjoyed Bisons baseball at Coca-Cola Field over the last five seasons. The Blue Jays have also been instrumental in several promotional events and in helping the Bisons reach the great sports fans and business partners in Southern Ontario. Each year since the affiliation began in 2013, Bisons games have also aired on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, the radio home for Toronto Blue Jays baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.