Next spring when Jerry Seinfeld performs in Las Vegas, the comedian can get a first-hand look at the future stars of his favorite baseball team.
The Las Vegas 51s announced a two-year Player Development Contract with the New York Mets today, which will extend until the 2014 season.
The affiliation will mark the fourth MLB franchise that the 51s, which just finished their 30th season in Las Vegas this summer, will serve as the top feeder team for—having just completed a four-year deal as the Triple A affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“We are looking forward to working with the New York Mets as our new affiliate,” said 51s General Manager Chuck Johnson, of a Las Vegas program that was the top farm team for the San Diego Padres from 1983 to 2000, before also serving eight seasons as a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate from 2001 to 08.
“The Mets will continue to provide quality players for us on the field that our fans will enjoy watching play. We are also excited to have the New York “brand” in the Las Vegas market.”
While the partnership might not seem like a natural fit because of the time zone changes, it became a necessity when Toronto chose to leave Las Vegas for Buffalo—which served as the Mets top affiliate the last four years.
Still with a healthy dose of New York transplants in Vegas and plenty of directs flights between the cities, both parties say the partnership is more than a marriage of convenience.
“We are familiar with many of the front office personnel with the Mets,” 51s Executive Director Don Logan said. “I’ve known Sandy Alderson (Mets GM) for 20 years to go along with J.P. Ricciardi (Special Assistant to the GM), Paul DePodesta (VP, Player Development & Scouting), Dick Scott (Minor League Field Coordinator) and Terry Collins (Manager). These individuals are all very familiar with Las Vegas from the time they spent here with other organizations. We are excited to welcome the Mets as our new Triple-A affiliate.”