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The Toronto Blue Jays have signed two-year Player Development Contracts with the Lansing Lugnuts and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

The Fisher Cats and Blue Jays have been in partnership since 2004 while the Lugnuts-Jays affiliation has been ongoing since 2005.

With the Vancouver Canadians in the fold until 2022, the only PDC's for the Jays yet to be extended are with Buffalo and Bluefield. Those agreements are set to expire after the end of the season. The Dunedin, Gulf Coast League and Dominican Summer League squad are only by the parent club.

Other stories of note around the minors...
  • WIVB-TV has a story about the Bisons preparing for 2018.
  • The Buffalo News says the Herd will have a Han Solo jersey this year.
  • The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will be known as the Mountain Men for one game this summer.
  • The Toronto Sun has a harrowing story about former Blue Jays minor leaguer Chris Emanuele.
  • The Lansing Lugnuts are offering a special deal for their fans.
  • The Lugnuts will honour the memory of Michigan Spartans punter Mike Sadler in May.
  • The Toronto Observer has a story on catcher Riley Adams and another on lefty Travis Bergen.

And finally, I invite you to check out some interviews on with 2017 C's pitchers Kyle Weatherly and Donnie Sellers and second baseman Cullen Large in the latest instalments of C's Chat. Keep checking in regularly because there are more on the way.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fisher Cats & Lugnuts To Remain In The Blue Jays Nest Until 2020 | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Saturday, March 17 2018 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#354733) #
Good to hear. Buffalo is the big one to resign up. Lets hope the Jays get that done soon as the last thing we want is the Vegas Jays again.
rpriske - Saturday, March 17 2018 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#354735) #
I am waiting for the day that they announce that the AA affiliate will no longer be the Fisher-Cats...

... because they are going to be in Ottawa instead.

Yes, I am biased. I think Ottawa could succeed with a AA team as long as it is affiliated with Toronto. The Lynx were successful as long as they were affiliated with the Expos (and the Expos were still claiming to have a major league team).
John Northey - Saturday, March 17 2018 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#354747) #
I say move them to London - Detroit had a team there once and now I'm moving there so that would be ideal :)
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 18 2018 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#354750) #
If the Team needs a new Stadium/Ballpark, Canadian Teams donít have the money and the Government doesnít help. There is a better chance of getting something done if itís Stateside.
John Northey - Sunday, March 18 2018 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#354755) #
Of course Richard - I'm very happy our governments seem to have finally decided to stop subsidizing pro-sports (up here in Thunder Bay they wanted to build a $100 million arena for the AHL and called it an 'event centre' but the feds wouldn't pony up a penny if it was for pro sports, then the silly city council said it was for the local university team but the feds said 'nice try but we aren't that stupid').

If the USA wants to spend taxpayer dollars on stadiums so be it. It is fun to dream of teams coming up here but I'd rather not see an increase in taxes to pay for it - not even hotel taxes as that just makes it harder for hotels to be profitable, thus costing jobs in the long run.
bpoz - Sunday, March 18 2018 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#354758) #
I agree John. Unnecessary spending at all levels of govt may do nothing more than reduce the defecits. A positive IMO. I am fine with more soccer fields and small local hockey arenas for the local population.
uglyone - Monday, March 19 2018 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#354772) #
In other minor league news, and tangentially related to the arguments about MLB collusion this offseason....

Mike Green - Monday, March 19 2018 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#354774) #
UO's post does merit the large print.  For those of us who are concerned with these issues in general, it's a big deal.  Billionaires screwing over minor league players (a.k.a. serfs) with the support of Republicans in the US Congress deserves not only our harshest condemnation but, for some of us, raises questions about the ethics of supporting the game.  It is an addiction...
TangledUpInBlue - Monday, March 19 2018 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#354805) #
Billionaires screwing over minor league players (a.k.a. serfs)

Serfs who've chosen this career over all other options freely available to them (a.k.a. not serfs).
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 12:50 AM EDT (#354806) #
So, you are saying that because I chose to go into this profession, that it's ok to screw me over - WOW!!!
bpoz - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#354807) #
They follow a dream. They believe that they will make it to the ML.
Those late round selections practically never make it. $2000 bonus and then low pay as they give it their best shot. It can be bad.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#354808) #
I say if we have labor laws then they should apply to all. Not just to all who have bosses who can't lobby government well.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#354815) #
The term "serf" is only slightly hyperbolic.  MLB owners do not have to pay minor leaguers minimum wage and control where they play for 5 years.  Decisions to accept these terms are made by young people before they are considered responsible enough to drink in many states.  Owners aren't called lords of the realm for nothing. 

Interestingly, the salaries in minor league hockey are reasonable, because signed players are in the union
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#354818) #
While there were variations depending on time and place, the essence of serfdom was that serfs were tied to the land, with it either illegal or very difficult to leave the Lord's lands or change one's line of work. Minor leaguers don't have to play in the first place, and can quit whenever they like and work in literally any other profession. If we're going to compare the minor league system to a medieval institution, it's far more akin to guild apprenticeships, where apprentices received very little by way of wages in the hopes of obtaining a valuable career.

We can dislike the minor league system, but it has none of the hallmarks of the system of serfdoom. I'd say that makes using the term entirely hyperbolic.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#354819) #
It's true.  Serf isn't the right word.  A good percentage of minor leaguers come from Latin America before they are old enough to vote.  They may be exploited but it doesn't come in their ties to the land.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#354820) #
Think of "serf" as a concept but not a word. Please ignore what I just said if it makes things more cloudy.

These minor league players all help the Majors groom players. Jon Berti got drafted in 2011 and followed his dream. He is 28 years old and may hang on for a couple more years trying for his dream. Roman Fields left a job in the post office to try for his dream. The failure rate is very high, which is well known. For 7 or so years of trying these players should get something.

I know it was their choice. But to regroup at age 28-32 is hard I assume.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#354824) #
When (rightfully) bemoaning the plight of minor league baseball players, the topic of "student athletes" in American universities shouldn't be far behind. Talk about a hell of a business model. We'll fill the arena or football field, we'll get TV revenue, and almost all the performers will perform for free, save for their head coaches who will be among the highest paid public employees in their state.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#354826) #
For those concerned about minor leaguers' pay and college athletes, you have to address the underlying issue - MLB and the NCAA act like cartels, uniting the otherwise independent businesses. If you make teams (and universities) bargain freely without being constrained by their trade associations (albeit mostly by consent), you'd generate truly market prices for players. The real question here is why we allow restraint on trade by the NCAA and MLB.

So, to the socialist strain of thought here, I suggest that what we really need is a more free-market system, not less of one.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#354828) #
but cartels are a natural product of free markets.

what your talking about is the government intervening in and regulating the free market to ensure that it remains an OPEN market. which sounds a bit socialist.
Parker - Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#354831) #
"regulating the free market"

That's an oxymoron.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#354832) #
Nope, I don't think that there's a movement afoot to have the club renamed "The Toronto Red Army".  Maybe I missed the memo.

There was a time when the minor leagues were, more or less, free.  It's about 100 years ago now.    If we want to go back to that time, fine. To do it effectively in the modern context in Canada would require unwinding the cable oligopoly (Bell/Rogers) to ensure a level playing field in terms of promotion and the baseball monopoly/oligopoly.  I don't think either of those things are happening.  So, minimum wage laws and better union representation are what's left (so to speak).
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#354833) #
Shi Davidi reports that Oh got his visa.  Also, Grichuk is back today.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#354834) #
not an oxymoron. regulating the free market does lead to it no longer being a free market.

but it's necessary in order to keep it an OPEN market, because true free markets never stay open. they always devolve into monopolies and oligopolies.
China fan - Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#354842) #
Mark Shapiro in an interview published today:

"If the starting pitching stays healthy and productive and we avoid longer-term, catastrophic-types of injuries, then weíll be playing meaningful games through the end of the season and hopefully into October..... Weíre a pitching-focused team, thatís the core strength of this team."

And some interesting stuff on ticket prices, stadium renovations etc.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, March 22 2018 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#354871) #
If one defines "free market" as what exists with zero regulation (i.e., anarchy), then sure, cartels emerge. I wouldn't define free market that way, and I don't think it's the way the term is actually used.

Regardless, applying anti-trust principles to MLB would result in more competition and greater market freedom within the industry, which are traditional goals of capitalist and conservative economics. Socialism, on the other hand, supports coordinated labour and industry action - which is what currently is going on in MLB.
uglyone - Thursday, March 22 2018 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#354873) #
that's kind of the problem - not only does the word "free" clearly imply "unregulated", but the term 'Free Market' today is most definitely most frequently used as a cudgel to further a deregulation agenda - even when that deregulation actually leads to a market that is less "free", not more.

I would suggest that the word "free" was never the right word, and has misled us, and that the word "open" is a much more accurate and important name for a properly functioning capitalist market economy - and "open" requires strong regulation, not weak or absent regulation.
uglyone - Thursday, March 22 2018 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#354874) #
"Regardless, applying anti-trust principles to MLB would result in more competition and greater market freedom within the industry, which are traditional goals of capitalist and conservative economics."

agreed - greater regulation of the industry would free up the market and improve the players' position.

"Socialism, on the other hand, supports coordinated labour and industry action - which is what currently is going on in MLB."

Socialism, in terms of organized labour, has greatly improved the players' position, actually. By a massive, massive amount. Socialism is not the problem here.
cybercavalier - Thursday, March 22 2018 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#354875) #
Regarding Canadian baseball teams, they are involved with the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball and the Can-Am League.

An idea of more baseball would be an independent league world series championship and all-star game among the American Association, the Cam-Am, the Atlantic and the Frontier League. All-Star player candidates go through some voting scheme to be voted players. The all-star rosters are comprised of players by random draw of the voted players. The all-star match will have the MVP for pitching and hitting. The league, whose player is an MVP, hosted any series when its champion team is involved. The team with the higher winning percentage of regular season match will host the series of the other two champion team or when the two MVPs are opposing teams in a series.

Then, there would be more baseball for Canadian and American cities that could not host MLB teams. Imagine Midwest and Northwest American states and the Prairies provinces having more live baseball than watch TV during the summer. In winter, the Gatorade national basketball association development league is hosting basketball.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, March 25 2018 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#354935) #
The Ottawa Lynx AAA club finished first in attendance in its novelty season of 1993. By 1997 it was last in attendance, and it was always last thereafter, far behind the rest of the league, until the plug was finally pulled by the International League in 2007.

The reason there Is no club in Ottawa, or full-season club anywhere in Canada outside of Toronto for that matter, has next to nothing to do with stadium financing. Ottawa has a great stadium, the City would love to rent it out rather than leaving it empty. The problem is that people don't buy tickets and go to baseball games. That's the same problem that has existed across Canada, in every pro baseball stadium from Montreal to Vancouver, where baseball has failed. Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa all had AAA teams. All failed. London had a AA team, it failed too. St. Catherines and Medicine Hat had short season teams. They failed. The only full-season team standing in Canada is the Toronto Blue Jays. The rest all failed due to poor attendance. I think that in the larger cities, like Calgary, Edmonton and perhaps Ottawa, short-season teams may be successful like the one in Vancouver has been, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. Vancouver has the benefit of being a Blue Jay affiliate, and I don't know that there is enough interest to support even a short-season team in those other cities without that affiliation. No one is going to start another full-season baseball team, anywhere in Canada. And it's not because of stadium financing. It's because no one is going to throw away the money on a team and a game that people won't pay to see. Ask Howard Darwin or Ray Pecor, both of whom owned the Lynx and lost millions.
Fisher Cats & Lugnuts To Remain In The Blue Jays Nest Until 2020 | 29 comments | Create New Account
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