Blue Jays extend affiliation invitations to four teams, including Vancouver Canadians
People walk past Nat Bailey Stadium during a fan batting practice session hosted by the Vancouver Canadians minor league baseball team, in Vancouver, on Thursday, September 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, December 9, 2020 12:46PM EST
TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays have issued affiliation invitations to four minor-league clubs as part of Major League Baseball's player development overhaul.
The club announced Wednesday that invitations have been sent to the Buffalo Bisons (triple-A), New Hampshire Fisher Cats (double-A), Vancouver Canadians (high-A), and Dunedin Blue Jays (low-A).
Major League Baseball is contracting the number of guaranteed minor-league affiliations from 160 to 120 next year, leaving teams with four affiliates.
Under the new structure the Canadians would become a full-season affiliate of the Blue Jays. The Canadians have been a short-season class-A affiliate of the Jays since 2011.
The Bisons and the Fisher Cats have been affiliated with the Blue Jays since 2013 and 2004, respectively. Toronto played its games last season at Buffalo's Sahlen Field after being unable to play at Rogers Centre due to federal COVID-19 restrictions.
The Dunedin Blue Jays play in Toronto's U.S. base of operations in Dunedin, Fla.
The class-A Lansing Lugnuts, who have been affiliated with the Blue Jays since 2005, were not extended an invitation.
The Bluefield Blue Jays, who had been affiliated with the Jays as an advanced rookie team since 2011, ceased operations when the Appalachian League was reorganized as a collegiate summer baseball league.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2020.