Mets to again field a Gulf Coast League team

After a one-year hiatus, the New York Mets will again field a team in the Gulf Coast League. The rookie-level club will be based out of the organization’s minor league complex in Port St. Lucie, FL.

The new collective bargaining agreement has pushed up the signing deadline for players taken in the First-Year Player Draft.

“The new CBA has accelerated the signing of players from the draft. And with the continuation of two teams in the Dominican Summer League, we need more rookie level roster space for our young players,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. “We are happy to be back in the Gulf Coast League while retaining our affiliation in Kingsport of the Appalachian League.”

The Mets, along with Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays, have nine minor league affiliates. The Mets’ affiliates are: Las Vegas (Pacific Coast League), Binghamton (Eastern League), St. Lucie (Florida State League), Savannah (South Atlantic League), Brooklyn (New York-Penn League), Kingsport (Appalachian League), Gulf Coast League and two Dominican Summer League teams.

Eleven other major league teams have eight minor league clubs, while 16 teams have seven minor league teams.