Padres Extend Minor League Affiliates Until 2016
By Sinan Habeeb
The San Diego Padres announced on Wednesday that they have extended the contracts with the El Paso Chihuahuas, their Triple-A affiliate and the San Antonio Missions, their Double-A affiliate. Both clubs had their partnership with the Padres extended to the end of the 2016 season. The moves were announced by Padres Executive Vice President and General Manager AJ Preller.
The Chihuahuas were at the end of their deal that spanned two seasons. The club was known as the Tuscon Padres in 2013, before relocating to El Paso before the start of this season. The team managed to finish at .500 in their inaugural season, impressively finishing 72-72 despite starting off with 23 straight road games after having to wait for their new ballpark to open. Southwest University Park opened in downtown El Paso on April 28. The even finish was good enough for second in the PCL Pacific Southern Division. El Paso has been the rehab home to many Padres this season, including Andrew Cashner, Everth Cabrera, Cameron Maybin and Joe Wieland, among many others.
Double-A San Antonio has played more of an important role in player development in recent years, as they have been an affiliate of the Padres since 2007, going 586-532 in eight seasons. Among the many highlights are Texas League Championships in 2007, 2011 and 2013 and being named the Minor League Team of the Year and the Double-A Team of the Year by MiLB.com in 2013. The Missions finished with a 68-72 regular season record, fourth in the Texas League South Division.
The official press release went on to note that 1o current Padres came up to the majors by way of San Antonio, including Jedd Gyorko, Will Venable, Tim Stauffer, Nick Vincent, Rymer Liriano and the newly called up Cory Spangenberg. Current number one prospect Austin Hedges is currently on the Missions, along with up-and-comers Hunter Renfroe and Joe Ross.
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Extending the relationship with the minor league affiliates allows fluid communications between coaching staffs at all levels– not to mention a consistent travel pattern for players who are sent back and forth between clubs during the regular season.