New Class A club joining the Crew

Brewers bringing aboard Appleton-based Timber Rattlers

Milwaukee is moving its Class A team from the South Atlantic League to the Midwest. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com | September 22, 2008 11:52 AM

MILWAUKEE -- Starting next season, some of the Brewers' kids will once again be grown closer to home.

The team on Tuesday will announce a new player development contract with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a franchise based 100 miles up the road from Milwaukee in Appleton that has been a Seattle Mariners affiliate since 1993.

The long-rumored deal is expected to start as a four-year commitment -- through 2012 -- and will be detailed at 11 a.m. CT on Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Field in Appleton. Last week, the Brewers announced two-year extensions with Double-A Huntsville and Rookie Pioneer League Helena.

The Brewers previously had their Class A team in Charleston, W.Va., but the West Virginia Power last week officially paired with the Pirates. In the past, Brewers officials had cited Charleston's warmer weather and relative proximity to the team's other Minor League affiliates -- particularly Class A Advanced Brevard County and Huntsville -- as reasons for the pairing.

But for months, Milwaukee has had rumored interest in moving closer to home in the Midwest League. The Brewers had a Class A team in Beloit, Wis., until the end of the 2004 season.

The Timber Rattlers are already selling 2009 ticket packages at MiLB.com. Individual tickets will not go on sale until 10 a.m. CT on March 14.

Adam McCalvy 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.

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