When the New York Mets pulled out of their affiliation with the IL’s Norfolk Tides after the 2006 season, it ended a 38-year relationship between the two. When this opening happened, many teams jumped at the opportunity to lineup with this great Triple-A market, and it came down to the Orioles and Nationals, the two major league teams closest to Hampton Roads. Looking to cut travel costs wherever possible, this is a popular and growing trend among major league teams, to lineup with minor league affiliates as close to home as possible.
After years of having their Triple-A affiliates in Rochester (1961-2002) and Ottawa (2003-2006, team folded since), the Orioles jumped at the opportunity to get a AAA team that was only a 25-minute plane ride away, and became the new parent club of the Tides.
From 2007-2014, 139 players have come through the Norfolk-Baltimore pipeline, including, as of September 4, 19 players on the Orioles active roster. So, the Orioles are obviously very happy with the Tides, and yesterday decided to show that appreciation.
The Orioles have signed a new 4-year Player Development Contract with the Tides, keeping them as their top affiliate through the 2018 season.
Caleb Joseph, Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Ryan Flaherty, Zach Britton, just some of the players who came through Hampton Roads and played at Harbor Park on their way to Charm City.