The New York Mets officially revealed their new Triple-A home yesterday. At a ceremony in upstate New York, the Mets confirmed that they are rebranding the Syracuse Chiefs as the Syracuse Mets, Danny Abriano of MetsBlog.com reports. As part of the move, the Mets are designing the Syracuse uniforms and are planning renovations to NBT Stadium. The team is also close to finalizing a new 25 year lease to keep the Mets’ new Triple-A affiliate in upstate New York through the 2043 season.
This is a big deal for the Mets, who have been traveling vagabonds at the Triple-A level since their relationship with Norfolk ended in 2006. Since then, the Mets’ top farm team has been based in New Orleans (2007-2008), Buffalo (2009-2012), and Las Vegas (2013-2018). The move to Las Vegas was a logistical nightmare for the Mets, who had their top prospects playing nearly 3,000 miles away from New York and in a ballpark that was inadequate to evaluate talent. That will all change now with the Mets’ top two farm teams (Syracuse and AA Binghamton) located in the same state, allowing club executives easy access to evaluate their players in an environment similar to the one the big club plays in.
The Mets will also have an easier time making roster moves since it only requires a short flight to get from Syracuse to Flushing. That will no longer be the case for the Washington Nationals, whose top farm team played in Syracuse until the Mets bought the affiliate this year. The Nationals ended up as the big losers in the affiliate scramble of 2018 with their top farm team ending up all the way in Fresno, California. This is a horrendous situation for Washington as their top prospects will be across the country, making it harder to plan promotions and shuttle players onto the big league roster if necessary. Thankfully for the Mets, this is no longer a problem they will have to deal with.