After days of speculation, it has finally become official: The Sacramento River Cats are the new Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Formerly of the Oakland Athletic’s franchise, the River Cats will end the Giants and the Fresno Grizzlies fourteen year long partnership. The change of affiliate is a big win for the Giants, as the Cats have so much more to offer.
The River Cats have much better facilites, much better attendance, and an all round better organization in comparison to Fresno. Furthermore, Sacramento is much closer to AT&T Park than Fresno, which will make it much easier to option, and recall yo-yo players like Juan Perez and George Kontos. The Cats are ending a fifteen year tenure with the Athletics.
The news was first reported by Susan Slusser of the Chronicle, who had this to say about the affiliation change:
"The River Cats won seven PCL titles while affiliated with the A’s and led the minors in attendance for eight seasons. The A’s are typically considered an attractive franchise for minor-league free agents because they give oft-overlooked players a shot in the big leagues on a more regular basis than other clubs. So Oakland’s upper-level minor-league affiliates tend to have more success than those of other franchises.The assumption is that River Cats’ ownerships believe that the Giants’ overall greater popularity in Northern California will lead to increased attendance. Owner Susan Savage did not respond to repeated requests for comment in May."
The official announcement is said to come tomorrow.