Beginning June 2015 the New York Yankees will have a new team in the organization. Earlier today the Bronx Bombers announced that they have agreed to field a team in the Appalachian League team in Pulaski, Virginia.
The Yankees will be taking the spot recently vacated by the Seattle Mariners after they ended their affiliation agreement with the team. The Appalachian League will serve as a go-between the Gulf Coast League Yankees and the Staten Island Yankees of the NY-Penn League. This is the big club’s return to the rookie-level league after fielding a team in Paintsville, Kentucky from 1979-1982.
To go along with the new affiliation the owners of the Pulaski team are set to invest over $3 million into the facilities, including a $2 million renovation of Calfee Park adding new seating, concession areas, new clubhouses and press box as well as upgraded parking. Another $1 million to $1.5 million will go towards building an extended stay facility for players to live in downtown Pulaski.
“We are excited to add an Appalachian League team to our affiliation,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. “Obviously baseball is our business, and in that business you try to find the best ways to develop your talents.”
Rumors of the addition of a rookie-level affiliate has circled around the organization the last month or so. There is no decision at this time if the Yankees will be keeping two affiliates in the Gulf Coast League, however team officials have hinted that it is likely there will only be one team in the complex league.