The Las Vegas 51s will be the Mets' new Triple-A affiliate beginning in 2013.
"We are excited about our new partnership with the Las Vegas 51s and the city of Las Vegas, one which values equally player development, winning and community involvement," Sandy Alderson said in a statement.
The 51s, most recently associated with the Toronto Blue Jays, has topped 300,000 in attendance for all its 30 seasons (1983-2012). The team has been affiliated with the Blue Jays (2009-2012), Dodgers (2001-2008) and Padres (1983-2000).
First, I can’t blame Buffalo for wanting a partnership with the Blue Jays, which would basically be like a local team given its proximity to Toronto. That’d be awesome for those two cities. Nevertheless, it’s a complicated turn of events for the Mets, because the PCL is SUCH a hitter’s league. So, the buzz around the team has been, what happens next year: Do the Mets rush guys like Familia, Mejia and Zack Wheeler to the big leagues, to avoid having them pitch in a notoriously-bad city for pitching? Do they push them all back to Double-A, just to get safer work? Do they roll their dice in Vegas? Or, do they structure it in a way that, say, Wheeler and Mejia just throw on the road? It’s complicated. The Blue Jays have been complaining about this for years, as did the Dodgers, who played their prior, though it didn’t seem to stunt Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and others.