The only Canadian MLb club and the only affiliated minor league club in Canada have announced to extend their player development contract through 2022.
The agreement was announced by Vancouver Canadians owner Jake Kerr and Toronto Blue Jays Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations & General Manager Ross Atkins. The two teams have been affiliated since the 2011 season. The four-year extension is the maximum MiLB allows but it is a sign that both teams are very happy with the cooperation.
During the seven years, the two teams have been partners the Canadians won the Northwest League’s championship four times (2011-2013 and 2017).
Blue Jays’ director of minor league operations Paul Beeston stated on the affiliation: “It’s a great environment. You learn about winning, and you learn about the pride Canadians have and you learn it’s a great country. It’s a win-win. This is the best thing we’ve done for the Blue Jays.”
Blue Jays’ general manager Ross Atkins was also very happy about the renewal of the PDC and Nat Bailey Stadium: “It is a great place to come and watch a game. Our players love it. Our coaches love it. We’ve got coordinators and staff lining up to make the trip out here. This is a remarkable city in a remarkable country with great team ownership. It’s great for our players to be introduced to the environment and understand that this (the Blue Jays) is the nation’s team.”
According to Atkins, the minor league players and coaches love it in Vancouver, so taking that into consideration, the move by the Blue Jays is quite understandable. Why change a winning combination?