BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Mets announced an agreement for the Mets to purchase the Syracuse Chiefs on Tuesday, making the Chiefs the Mets' new Triple-A affiliate starting in 2019, pending approval from MLB owners. The Chiefs are currently the Washington Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, while the Mets' current Triple-A affiliate is the Las Vegas 51s.
12 Sports caught up with Binghamton Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes to find out what this means for the Ponies.
On if this means less rehabbing Mets coming to Binghamton:
"(Rehab assignments are) really dependent more so on what team is in town and for how long," said Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes. "For example, a lot of times we'll get a rehab assignment simply because the 51s are on the road or Brooklyn's on the road. It has more to do with timing of when the player is ready to start playing real games, and that's the most important part. Not necessarily the location because the Mets aren't afraid to send someone out to Las Vegas."
On what this means for baseball fans in the Southern Tier:
"I think it speaks volumes for the commitment of the New York Mets to further enhance their brand and image and their team in upstate New York," said Hughes. "It's an exciting day, not only to be a New York Mets fan, but also to be a New York baseball fan."
Hughes' thoughts on the purchase:
"It's a win for the fans, because they can now follow players more closely, going from Binghamton to Syracuse and on to Queens," said Hughes. "It's a win for the players because the demands on travel of shuffling people back-and-forth to Las Vegas was a logistic nightmare. So, the players win, and then we win as a organization because it strengths everybody. (The purchase) allows coaches and players to get better construct and feedback and input on how their development is going."