The Mets are buying the Syracuse Chiefs, and that team will become the franchise’s new Triple-A affiliate starting in 2019. The Mets will completely own and operate the team, which gives them some leeway when dealing with issues that might arise. This is certainly a shrewd move for the Wilpons, who will not only move their Triple-A team closer to home, but the rival Washington Nationals will have to seek a new affiliate because they have been in Syracuse since 2009.
The move will mark the end of an era in hitter-friendly Las Vegas, which made it difficult to judge both hitting and pitching prospects. Some recent call-ups believed pitching in Vegas actually helped them prepare for the majors, but overall the situation there was untenable. One has to look no further than the marathon journey of poor Adam Wilk to see how difficult it could be to have the Triple-A team across the country.
Recently, Sandy Alderson voiced his displeasure with the Triple-A team and hinted that major changes would be coming. Las Vegas hitting coach Jack Voigt was the first to go, and the Mets hired Tony DeFrancesco to replace Pedro Lopez as manager after the team had a dismal year.