The New York Mets announced that they have invited the Syracuse Mets, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Brooklyn Cyclones and the St. Lucie Mets to become the organization’s four minor league affiliates under Major League Baseball’s new player development structure set to begin in 2021.
Three of the four teams invited to become affiliates are in New York (Syracuse, Binghamton and Brooklyn) and the fourth is the site of the Mets Spring Training home (Port St. Lucie, FL).
“We feel having a first-class player development system is crucial to achieving sustained success on the field, and all four of our affiliates are critical to that effort,” said Mets President Sandy Alderson. “We are proud to have worked with such great leadership throughout the state and in each of these communities and are thankful for their continued support.”
Syracuse, which became a Mets affiliate in 2019, has been invited to serve as its Triple-A affiliate. Syracuse was also a Mets affiliate in 1962 and Mets Hall of Famer Ed Kranepool played for the team as a 17-year-old. Binghamton has been invited to continue as the Double-A affiliate and has been a Mets affiliate since 1992. Edgardo Alfonzo, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Jacob deGrom, José Reyes, Noah Syndergaard and David Wright are among numerous players to have played minor league baseball in Binghamton. Brooklyn is invited to become the team’s High-A affiliate after serving as a short-season affiliate since 2001. The Cyclones have shattered numerous short-season attendance records and the ballpark is located less than 100 yards from the famous Coney Island boardwalk. St. Lucie has been invited to serve as the club’s Low-A affiliate. St. Lucie underwent a $57 million renovation during the 2019 offseason and has been a Mets affiliate since 1988 when the club moved to the Treasure Coast for Spring Training.
“It is official: the Mets will keep their minor league affiliation in Binghamton, NY!,” said Senator Schumer. “After over a year of advocating to preserve the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and working directly with the Mets, Major League Baseball (MLB), the Rumble Ponies and local leaders to ensure that MLB-affiliated minor league baseball continues to be played in the Southern Tier, this result is nothing short of a home run for all – and especially for the fans here in the Southern Tier.
“The Rumble Ponies have done a tremendous job weaving themselves into the very fabric of Binghamton and the Mets have yet again demonstrated their deep commitment to baseball in New York, where they have their AAA, AA and high A teams, from Brooklyn to Binghamton to Syracuse. That rich history will be unbroken and the love for the game can continue to be discovered and nurtured right here in the Carousel Capital. I look forward to more Rumble Ponies’ games in the Southern Tier, and I will continue to work closely with the Mets, including their new owner, Mr. Cohen, all local leaders and stakeholders to step up to the plate and ensure a successful season of our national pastime in Binghamton.”
“We are thrilled to have the New York Mets continue to call Onondaga County home,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. “When Onondaga County joined the Mets family in 2019 as the Triple-A affiliate, there was an undeniable excitement and momentum in our community. Now with the $25 million renovation of NBT Bank Stadium nearly complete, we are excited more than ever to once again enjoy a baseball game in safe and healthy way while cheering on the New York Mets!”
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“This is welcome news and a huge win for our community,” said New York State Senator Fred Akshar. “My sincere thanks go out the New York Mets, their new owner Steve Cohen and President Sandy Alderson. This couldn’t happen without strong commitments, investments and cooperation at the national, state and local level with our local partners U.S. Senator Schumer, Binghamton Mayor David and Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes. A true team effort that I’m proud to be a part of. On behalf of our community, I can’t wait to see baseball return once again when this pandemic is hopefully far behind us.”
“We are proud to continue as the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets and look forward to supporting their newfound commitment to excellence,” said Binghamton Rumble Ponies President John Hughes. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Brindisi for his perseverance and a huge thank you to Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson for entrusting the Ponies.”
“The return of our beloved Brooklyn Cyclones, reigning champions of the New York-Penn League, is great news for our Coney Island community,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “It’s even better news that our hometown team has gotten the call-up to High-A baseball, extending our season while moving our players closer to the big leagues. The Cyclones have been an anchor of our seaside economy, so adding home games in the spring will be a real home run for our small businesses that benefit from the additional fan traffic.”
“St. Lucie County is pleased to continue its longstanding relationship with the New York Mets,” said Chair, St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners Chris Dzadovsky. “The $57 million renovation of Clover Park creates a first class setting for Spring Training and its baseball facilities will provide minor league players a great opportunity to take their game to the next level. Let’s Go Mets!”