It's been hush-hush until now because of the rules of the minor and major leagues, but the window for MLB clubs to talk to potential new minor-league affiliates officially opened today -- and the Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays are now working on the game's worst-kept secret.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos confirmed to Toronto reporters this morning that the team is speaking to the Bisons about moving their Triple-A club from Las Vegas to Buffalo.
The only real discussion point, frankly, is whether the deal will be for two or four years. The Bisons have never started a deal with a new parent for anything but two years but the Jays are known to be interested in four. There's no way the Blue Jays stay in Vegas, although Anthopoulos took the PC route this morning and said they could, and there's no way the Bisons stay with the Mets.
In today's Inside Baseball column, I provided a full look at the Blue Jays' system and answered the question so many people have asked me lately: If the Jays' Triple-A team hasn't made the playoffs since 1998, why is this likely to be any better than the Mets?
In the print edition, I compiled a list of Triple-A teams' records the last four years (the period Buffalo was with the Mets). The Bisons, as you might surmise, were 28th out of 30. Take a look below.
Records for Triple-A teams since 2009, when the Bisons became an affiliate of the Mets:
Team (parent) W-L Pct.
Sacramento (Athletics) 339-236 .590
Scranton-WB (Yankees) 325-245 .570
Durham (Rays) 317-256 .553
Omaha (Royals) 307-267 .535
Reno (DBacks) 306-268 .533
Indianapolis (Pirates) 306-269 .532
Albuquerque (Dodgers) 302-273 .525
Columbus (Indians) 299-275 .521
Gwinnett (Braves) 293-281 .510
Memphis (Cardinals) 293-282 .510
Syracuse (Nationals) 288-283 .504
Nashville (Brewers) 290-286 .503
Okla. City (Astros) 288-285 .503
Pawtucket (Red Sox) 287-286 .501
Louisville (Reds) 287-286 .501
Las Vegas (Blue Jays) 287-288 .499
Charlotte (White Sox) 286-288 .498
Fresno (Giants) 285-291 .495
Lehigh Valley (Phillies) 284-291 .494
Tacoma (Mariners) 281-294 .489
Salt Lake City (Angels) 280-295 .487
Col. Springs (Rockies) 276-297 .482
Round Rock (Rangers) 276-300 .479
Iowa (Cubs) 273-298 .478
New Orleans (Marlins) 271-298 .476
Toledo (Tigers) 270-304 .470
Norfolk (Orioles) 268-305 .468
Buffalo (Mets) 260-313 .454
Rochester (Twins) 244-332 .424
Portland-Tucson (Padres) 240-336 .417