Kane County Cougars, Chicago Cubs still without agreement


One day after the Iowa Cubs received a two-year extension to its player development contract with the Chicago Cubs, and the organization moved its Advanced Class-A affiliate from Daytona to Myrtle Beach, an uncertainty lingers over the club’s Class-A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars.

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According to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, no agreement has been reached between the Midwest League Champion Cougars and the Cubs, as concerns over the quality of player facilities continues to be a concern for the organization moving forward. This same logic was behind the departure from both Daytona and Boise in the past week and yesterday, the Herald estimated the Cougars’ chance of receiving a new deal with Chicago at 50-50.

In an effort to address these concerns, Kane County announced a capital-improvement project earlier this month that would add several new features for the players to enjoy at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.

"The Cougars will be constructing a new batting cage built to the Cubs specifications, complete with two hitting tunnels. The climate-controlled cage will also house an expanded Cougars’ weight room and a state-of-the-art video room, allowing convenient access for Cougars and Cubs field staff to develop and evaluate players."

The Cougars earlier this month put out a news release announcing a capital-improvement project that would add covered batting cages and expanded video and weight rooms. Cubs president Theo Epstein made his first public comments on the subject Tuesday. His thoughts on the proposed improvements were interesting.

On Tuesday, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein made his first public remarks on the discussions between the two sides.

"“Nothing’s been decided yet,” Epstein said. “There are some things we’ve been asking for, for a while now. I read that news release, too. They’re good people. They’re making a push here to do some things. It just goes back to what’s best for the players. We’re looking around for the best fit for development purposes. A big part of that is the facilities.”"

As we noted yesterday, the leading Midwest League site in the running to host the Cubs’ Class-A affiliate is South Bend, Ind., where Four Winds Field is set to undergo extensive renovations in the offseason.