A new era of Buffalo Bisons Baseball began today as the team signed a two-year player development contract with the New York Mets.Interesting, this will be the second time the Bisons and Mets have an agreement in place. The last time, during the 1963 to 1965 seasons. During the last three season tenure, the Bisons made the International League playoffs with players who went on to have long careers with the Mets, such as Ed Kranepool, Ron Swoboda, and Cleon Jones. Additionally, these three were all part of the Mets' 1969 World Series Team.
This partnership aligns the Bisons with one of the elite franchises in all of Major League Baseball. Under this agreement, the Buffalo Bisons will be the New York Mets' Triple-A affiliate for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
The news of the Bisons-Mets affiliation is a taste of both good and bad news. The good news, at least Buffalo does not have to again be linked with Toronto and Torontonians. This is also another block in Ted Rogers pursuit to purchase the 'Queen City'.
The bad news, however, is that the Mets are not traditionally kind to their Triple-A affiliates. Many of the clubs top prospects will simply skip right over this level of the minors, which means that the current top prospect in the Mets organization, Fernando Martinez, will probably never grace the Kentucky Blue grass at Swan and Washington St. Additionally, with few other top prospects, the Bisons are looking to be a team filled with veterans and Quadruple-A players (a Quad-A player is one that excels in the minors but can't hack it in the majors-Ernie Young was the definition of this player, and before this season, Ryan Ludwick too) . In other words, the Bisons should be looking to compete right from the get go, despite having very few exciting young prospects to monitor after they have graced us with their presence. So no Brandon Phillips', no Jhonny Peralta's, no Victor Martinez's, no Adam Miller's, etc.
With all that said, the affiliation is the beginning of a new era and one that I am excited to be apart of. The Bisons open their home schedule against Boston's Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox on April 13th. It will be interesting to see what sort of lineup the Mets put together for the Bisons, although we can be sure it will provide plenty of depth for the major league club, depth that the Mets have sorely lacked during the 2008 season.