Late Thursday, it was reported that the Chicago Cubs have moved a third low-level affiliate, changing its short-season affiliate’s home from Boise – which has been a Chicago affiliate for the past 14 years – to Eugene, the home of the Emeralds.
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Eugene built a new stadium four years ago, while Boise’s home field, Memorial Stadium, was built 25 years ago – continuing the trend of emphasis on player facilities that has been on full display in recent weeks as Chicago moved its Class-A affiliate from Kane County to South Bend and its Advanced Class-A club from Daytona to Myrtle Beach.
Jason McLeod, who has been busy of late with the affiliate moves, released this statement on the new affiliation, which runs through the 2016 season:
"“We are looking forward to working with Allan Benavides and the entire Emeralds organization, and are eager to begin working with the local community,” said Jason McLeod, the Cubs Senior Vice President, Scouting and Player Development. “The Eugene ballclub offers a first-class facility at the University of Oregon, one of the most impressive facilities in short-season baseball.”"
Our friends over at Bleed Cubbie Blue have a more hands-on knowledge of the short-season affiliate that formerly called Boise home and offered these details on the results of the move.
"It does mean that the Cubs stay in the Northwest League, so they will continue to have a presence on the West Coast. Plus, Eugene is in the same four-team division as the Boise Hawks, so fans in the Treasure Valley (or ones that visit a lot, like me) will still be able to see Cubs farm hands on regular basis."
The Eugene Emeralds were a Cubs affiliate in the past – for two years, from 1999-2000. In 2014, Boise went 41-35, finishing second in the Northwest League Southern Division.