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Bisons and Blue Birds Strike a Deal

The Buffalo Bisons announced that they have signed a two-year agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays to be their Triple-A affiliate, Tuesday.

The Bisons were the top farm team in the International League for the New York Mets for the past four seasons, but the move to cut organizational ties with New York and team up with Toronto makes sense geographically and competitively.

With a mere 99-miles separating Coca-Cola Field from the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto, the Blue Jays will have more flexibility in making call-up decisions, while the Bisons will inherit one of the most talent rich minor league systems in all of baseball.

Despite the slim chances of Blue Jays top prospect, catcher, Travis d’Arnaud playing in the minors next season, there is a trio of pitchers in the stable considered to be amongst the best of the up-and-comers.

Aaron Sanchez (8-5, 2.49ERA, 97K), Noah Snydergaard (8-5,
2.49ERA, 122K) and Justin Nicolino (10-4, 2.46ERA, 119K) all pitched for the
Class-A Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League in 2012. Each of them have a
chance to see time with the Blue Jays in 2013, but if the young trio is allowed
to make a natural progression into the big leagues they will be donning Herd
uniforms for at least part of the season.

Another name to watch out for is outfielder Jake Marisnick,
who is the Blue Jays second ranked prospect by MLB.com. With a strong
contingency already in the Jays outfield led by ‘Joey Bats’ (Jose Bautista),
speedster Rajai Davis, Colby Rasmus and third ranked prospect Anthony Gose, who
is currently up with the big club, Marisnick should start the season in Buffalo.

The Mets organization will move its minor league affiliation
to Las Vegas where the Blue Jays are vacating the Southern Division of the
Pacific Coast League.

This will be the fifth major league affiliation for the
Bisons since becoming a Triple-A franchise in 1985. From 1985-1987 the Chicago
White Sox used Buffalo to develop their young talent, then after one season with
the Cleveland Indians in 1987, the Bisons started a 7-year stint with the
Pittsburgh Pirates before they rejoined the Indians for 14-seasons from
1995-2008.

“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
Bisons.

The Bisons open their 31st season of existence on
Thursday, April 4th, 2013 against the Rochester Red Wings at
Coca-Cola Field.


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