Blue Jays aligning with Bisons?
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
|The Jays could be changing their AAA affiliate from the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League to the Buffalo Bisons of the International League.
If the rumours are true, the Blue Jays’ triple A affiliation is about to go from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Ever since they were dumped by the folks in Rochester four years ago and failed to forge what would have been a natural alignment with Buffalo, the Jays have been shuttling players back and forth across the continent to Las Vegas, a totally awkward situation.
Now, after a summer of rumours that the Bisons were fed up with their relationship with the New York Mets, word out of Buffalo is that the triple A Bisons are dumping the Amazin’s and signing on as the Blue Jays’ top affiliate for at least the next two years.
The move is not expected to become official until Sept. 16 when the Minor League Baseball two-week window for announcing development contracts begins but on Sunday, Bisons manager Wally Bachman told reporter Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News that the writing is on the wall.
“It’s a shame for us, really,” Bachman said. “Buffalo is a great city but I don’t envision us coming back, from the things I’ve heard from the grapevine.”
That would leave Las Vegas as the only available triple A option for the Mets.
An alliance with Buffalo would solve a lot of logistical problems for the Jays and perhaps be a shot in the arm for flagging attendance at Coca Cola Field in downtown Buffalo, with more Canadians crossing the border to get a glimpse of some future Blue Jays.
On The Mend
Jose Bautista went 0-for-3 with a walk Monday in his first rehab start with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays, the club’s rookie-league affiliate in Florida.
Bautista is expected to get into several games early this week as he tries to regain his timing after more than a month on the sidelines with a strained tendon in his forearm suffered taking a swing in a game against the Yankees in New York.
Brett Lawrie was a curious omission from the same rookie ball lineup, leading to speculation that either his oblique injury flared, or that he is on his way to Detroit to join the big club.
On Tuesday, 1B Adam Lind, recovering from a lower back injury, is scheduled to play for the GCL Blue Jays in Lakeland against the Tigers while Bautista will be with Class-A Dunedin in Tampa to face the Yankees.