We’ve heard it for several years now that the Binghamton Mets were moving to Canada, and more specifically Ottawa, Ontario.
According to Josh Levinthal of BaseballAmerica.com through Metsblog.com former Mets player and current owner of the Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan will be buying the Binghamton Mets and moving them to Ottawa for the 2014 season. Does this mean that the franchise will now become the Double-A affiliate of the Rangers? Not quite as their current Double-A team the Frisco Roughriders is one of the most, and in my opinion second most successful minor league franchise behind the Dayton (Ohio) Dragons of the Midwest League.
Does this mean the Mets will have their Double-A team move further away from New York? Through 2016 it does as the Mets signed a four-year extension for 2013-16 with the Binghamton Mets back at the end of August. During that offseason it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the Mets attempt to sign with the New Britain Rock Cats based in Connecticut.
There was the rumor, this past summer, of the Mets taking over the New Britain team this offseason, with the Twins in turn taking over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and then Toronto (currently New Hampshire’s parent team) would take over the Ottawa team. All of those rumors were thwarted once the Mets signed their extension with Binghamton earlier this season.
The city of Ottawa hasn’t had a team since the 2007 team when the Phillies moved the Ottawa Lynx franchise to Allentown, Pennsylvania to become the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for the 2008 season. Since then there has only been one franchise that has moved in the International League and that was the Richmond Braves moving from Virginia to Gwinnett, Georgia to be closer to their Major League affiliate.
Unlike Ottawa’s original move, the Braves’ move to Gwinnett cause a massive domino effect of teams moving from city to city. The Braves left Richmond, leaving open a 10,000-seat stadium that the Norwich Navigators (San Francisco’s Double-A team) of the Eastern League jumped on quickly and moved to Virginia to become the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
The next domino fell into place when the New York-Penn League’s Oneonta Tigers took advantage of the vacant stadium in Norwich, Connecticut and became the Connecticut Tigers. This will be the likely move coming as Binghamton’s NYSEG Stadium will be opening up and as soon as it does it appears the Miami Marlins’ NYPL affiliate the Batavia Muckdogs will be moving to Binghamton.
Only time will tell what happens with everyone’s moving around, but we do know one thing; teams won’t be jumping from league to league like we have seen in the NCAA with all of the conference realignment having gone on since 2007 or so.