NEW YORK -- The Mets will no longer have their Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans starting in 2009, moving closer to home by signing a two-year player development contract with Buffalo.
An announcement was made Monday at what will become the Mets' Triple-A stadium, Dunn Tire Park, where chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, general manager Omar Minaya and director of Minor League operations Adam Wogan accompanied Buffalo Bisons owner Bob Rich Jr.
"The Mets are one of the most highly recognizable franchises in all of sports and have a well-established tradition of winning and excellence, which makes them a perfect fit for the Buffalo Bisons," Rich said in a statement. "The Bisons recognize the importance of having a strong Major League partner and feel that this new connection with an in-state team will provide our fans with many seasons of great baseball."
This is the second time in the Bisons' 124-year history that they have paired with the Mets. The Bisons were the Mets' International League affiliate for three seasons from 1963-65.
Moving from New Orleans to Buffalo makes the most sense geographically, Minaya said in a statement, keeping three of the Mets' affiliates in New York State (joining Class A Brooklyn and Double-A Binghamton). From a travel perspective, designating players will be an easier chore as well.
"We look forward to being in Buffalo as an organization and in the community and working with the Rich family as home base for our top Minor League team," Wilpon said. "Their commitment to innovation has earned them the well-deserved reputation for management excellence and providing the finest fan experience in the Minor Leagues."