The Chicago Cubs today agreed with South Bend (Ind.) on a new Player Development Contract to move the club's Single-A Midwest League affiliate. The contract runs through the 2018 season.
"We are excited to partner with South Bend and look forward to a productive relationship with the team, as well as the entire South Bend community," said Jason McLeod, the Cubs Senior Vice President, Scouting and Player Development. "Making the decision to switch minor league affiliates is never an easy one, but we are confident that this agreement will further strengthen our farm system."
"The Cubs are fortunate to have had the opportunity to play in Kane County the past two years and we thank Dr. Bob Froehlich, the entire front office, and all of the Cougars fans for their support," added McLeod. "We are proud that our relationship culminated with a Midwest League title this past season."
The South Bend Silver Hawks have won five Midwest League titles in 26 seasons, most recently in 2005, and have captured 12 division titles. The club had been an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks starting in 1997. South Bend broke into the league in 1988 as a Chicago White Sox affiliate, a partnership that would run through 1996.
"Today is a turning point," said South Bend Silver Hawks Owner Andrew Berlin. "I made a promise to the thousands of people and local government officials who welcomed me with open arms three years ago. I promised that I would return the team to its former glory days. And I promised that I'd do everything I could to bring people back downtown and prove that this is a wonderful place to invest in."
"Now, one of the best and most beloved brands in the history of Major League Baseball is making a bold statement about this place, too," added Berlin. "The Chicago Cubs are giving this region a big vote of confidence."
The South Bend franchise will unveil a new name, logo and uniform, Thursday, September 25, during a press conference beginning at 9 a.m. ET at the local St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. Officials from both South Bend and the Cubs will be on hand.