The Cubs have reached an agreement on a four-year player development contract with South Bend to move the team’s Class Low-A affiliate from Kane County to South Bend. The Cubs PDC with South Bend runs through the 2018 season.
The South Bend franchise was the Low-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks and called the ‘Silver Hawks.’ According to multiple reports, including one from Bruce Miles, South Bend will change its nickname to the ‘Cubs.’
South Bend will hold a press conference next week to announce the name change.
The Cubs’ front office was seeking better facilities for the players and reportedly was not satisfied with Kane County’s statement that part of the capital improvements at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark would meet Cubs specifications. Bruce Miles reported that the statement from Kane County was “open to interpretation.”
Bruce Miles reported a press conference is scheduled for next week in South Bend and ownership has agreed to remove the artificial turf at Four Winds Field and install a grass field. Among the other changes to the park in South Bend according to Bruce Miles will be a “smaller version of the performance center the Cubs built at their new Spring Training facility in Mesa.”
According to a report from the South Bend Tribune, Andrew Berlin, the owner of the South Bend franchise, said “the Cubs have developed relationships with area academic institutions to help their young players in financial planning, language skills and other areas. Berlin, who chose not to name what schools are involved, said it’s a holistic approach that the Cubs have embraced.”
South Bend plays in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League and will not play in Kane County during the 2015 season. According to a report from Nathan Baliva, unless changes are made in South Bend the Cubs minor league games will not be able to be heard on the radio and reports are not provided from the team on road games.
The Cubs have not announced a new affiliate for the organization’s Short-Season Class-A team.
The Cubs announced a two-year player development contract with High-A Myrtle Beach earlier this week and extended its PDC contract with Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs High-A affiliate will be in Myrtle Beach at least through the 2016 season and the Low-A, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates will be in South Bend, Tennessee and Iowa at least through the 2018 season.