The Blue Jays and the Bisons have signed a 2-year 'player development' deal. I hope things go well and this goes well beyond 2 years.
Here is the press release:
The TORONTO BLUE JAYS are pleased to announce that they have entered into a Player Development Contract with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League (AAA). The two-year deal for the 2013 and 2014 begins next season when the Bisons open their season in Buffalo at Coca-Cola Field on Thursday, April 4 against the Rochester Red Wings.
"We are thrilled to enter into partnership with the Buffalo Bisons organization and more specifically with Mindy and Bob Rich who we have known for many years," said Toronto Blue Jays President and C.E.O. Paul Beeston. "This relationship is a natural fit, both geographically and philosophically. The Bisons are committed to winning and the Rich family to providing an environment consistent with the values we are establishing with the Blue Jays. Simply put, we are fortunate they have agreed to align with our program and we thank them for the confidence they have shown in us. We would also extend our appreciation to the Las Vegas 51s whom we have associated with for the past four years. They have been valued partners and friends and we wish them success in their future."
The Buffalo Bisons are the third Triple-A affiliate the Toronto Blue Jays have had. The club had a working agreement with Syracuse of the International League for 31 years (1978-2008) before playing the last four seasons in the Pacific Coast League in Las Vegas (2009-2012).
"Aligning with the Blue Jays not only gives the Bisons a great regional partner, but also aligns us with one of the top minor league systems in all of baseball," said Bob Rich Jr., President/Owner of the Buffalo Bisons. "Toronto has a well-documented commitment to developing exciting young talent throughout their farm system."
Blue Jays Senior Vice President and General Manager Alex Anthopoulos noted that "from a baseball point of view, this is a great fit for our organization. With only 160km (99 miles) separating the two fields, we will have greater flexibility to make roster decisions and an increased opportunity to watch our most developed prospects. We look forward to providing the Bisons with an exciting and talented roster."