Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs organization extended its Player Development Contract with its Double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies, for a maximum four years, meaning the Smokies will remain under Cubs’ control through the 2018 campaign.
“We are pleased to reach agreement with the Tennessee Smokies on a four-year Player Development Contract extension,” said Jason McLeod, the Cubs Senior Vice President, Scouting and Player Development. “Our front office has enjoyed our relationship with the Smokies and the players who have come through Tennessee have spoken very highly of the Smokies and their fans. We thank Randy Boyd, Doug Kirchhofer, Brian Cox and the entire Smokies family for their commitment to providing a great experience for our Double-A players.”
Currently, Kris Bryant and C.J. Edwards headline the latest crop of talent to play for Tennessee as the ongoing rebuilding effort of Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer continues.
Officials from both the big league club and the Smokies were excited about what continuing the partnership will mean.
“There’s no question the talent that has come through Kodak recently has been some of the best in baseball and it’s an amazing opportunity for fans to see the stars of tomorrow pass through here,” said Smokies General Manager Brian Cox. “The impact the players and coaches have made in East Tennessee has been tremendous and the future is clearly bright for both the Chicago Cubs and Tennessee Smokies.”
Since beginning its affiliation with the Cubs seven seasons ago, Tennessee has compiled a winning record in six of them and has reached the Southern League playoffs in five separate seasons – reaching the championship series in three of those five.