SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Mets have reportedly found a new Triple-A affiliate closer to home.
According to Syracuse.com, the team has reached an agreement to buy the Syracuse Chiefs and make the International League team its top minor league affiliate. Newsday has confirmed the report.
The Mets will acquire ownership of the team starting in 2019, ending an affiliation with the Las Vegas 51s that dates back to 2013.
The Mets’ offer to buy the team was approved Monday by the board of directors for the Community Baseball Club of New York Inc., which owns a majority of the shares in the Chiefs. The remaining public shareholders will be asked to approve the deal this week.
It’s not clear how much the Mets are paying for the team. A source told Syracause.com that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mets Chief Operating Office Jeff Wilpon and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney are expected to announce the sale Tuesday at NBT Bank Stadium, where the Chiefs play their home games.
The Chiefs were in danger of bankruptcy in 2013, but after a change in leadership, the team chipped away at its deficit before turning a profit in 2016.
The Mets will now have three minor-league affiliates based in New York state. The others are the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the short-season Class-A Brooklyn Cyclones.
Sen. Charles Schumer, who unsuccessfully pushed for the Mets to move their Triple-A affiliate to Syracuse, applauded the move.
“With Syracuse’s rich history and love of baseball, the Mets purchasing the Syracuse Chiefs is a grand slam for the entire community,” Schumer told Syracuse.com.
The Chiefs’ current major league affiliate is the Washington Nationals.