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Back in March, I reported that the Chicago Cubs were considering changing their A-ball affiliation, which is currently with the Peoria Chiefs. At the time, the South Bend Silver Hawks were the possible target, but the organization there took the steps necessary to stick with the Diamondbacks, and the rumor died on the vine.

Until now.

According to Gordon Wittenmyer (and a tipster early this morning), the Cubs are planning to change their affiliation from Peoria to Kane County, just west of Chicago, as soon as next season. The Cubs have been affiliated with the Peoria Chiefs for the last eight years, and had a previous 10-year run with the organization in the late-80s/early-90s.

Although the move would undoubtedly be sad for some folks down in the Peoria area, you can understand the Cubs’ desire to relocate the A-ball affiliation some 120 miles closer to Chicago. It would make seeing some of the top prospects in the system a little easier for Chicago locals (and folks who travel into Chicago for a Cubs game, for example).

As for the Chiefs, given those pre-season rumors, I can’t help but suspect that they aren’t going to be blindsided by this news. They’ll find a new affiliation, and move on. These things can be unpleasant, but they happen.

  • beerhelps

    Well damn, that figures.

  • BlueHorizons

    It’s SUCH a shame that for some reason South Bend decided to extend it’s affiliation with the Diamondbacks! Attendance has been suffering in South Bend and had they been able to bring the Cubs A team to South Bend, it would have been HUGE! There are so many Cubs fans in this area, I am sure their attendance would have skyrocketed! Around here, who the F#*$ cares about the Diamondbacks!!!

    Who ever made that bonehead decision should be kicking themselves about now.

  • North Side Irish

    I always wondered why neither of the Chicago teams made a move for Kane County. They are a well-run and profitable organization that has switched affiliations multiple times. It makes a lot of sense to keep your rehab guys close and allow your fan base to see some of your prospects on their way up.

    Peoria will be OK…maybe make a move for a Cardinals franchise. Pretty split between CHC/STL down there and they do have a past.

    • Kristin

      The Chiefs do have a past with the Cardinals, you’re right on that. But, the Cards still have their Class-A affiliation in the Quad Cities right now. Don’t know if they would make a move right now or not. I know a lot of Cubs fan around here that would not be happy about that.

      • Alou and Vinegar

        Cardinals will probably go to Peoria as I believe their contract is up after this year in the Quad Cities. As someone who grew up seeing the QC Angels and QC Cubs it won’t hurt my feelings to see the Cards leave, but it will hurt Quad City attendance.

        Peoria needs to have either a Cub or Cardinal affiliate to be successful. Springfield was the same way and lost minor league ball because of it (and an outdated stadium).

        This move gives the Cardinals more market share downstate, where they already are ahead or equal to the Cubs from Peoria south. It doesn’t mean much to Chicagoland fans, but it really hurts downstate. It also means there are potentially more obnoxious, asshat Cardinal fans, which should scare everyone.

        • Senior Lake

          Agreed but as someone from the Springfield area I’d say that had more to do with the outdated facilities, bad location, lack of parking, etc.
          Peoria has a beautiful stadium, easily accessible, sufficient parking, etc. and will be attractive to some team. I’d be surprised if their attendance doesn’t suffer no matter which team comes in though, Cardinals included.

          • Alou and Vinegar

            I live in the Springfield area now and agree about the stadium, parking, etc. Peoria attendance would probably drop a little bit with the Cardinals but would come back fairly quickly. I just think a lot of young people in the area that go to Peoria games may turn into Card fans instead of Cubs.

  • Njriv

    Can’t wait, now I can see Cubs top prospects more often now, too bad I missed out on Baez and probably Jorge Soler.

  • JB88

    As a Wheaton-ite, I fully support this decision!

    • Dave H

      As a Lombarian and working a mere mile from the stadium. YES!

  • MikeW

    f*cking depressing.

  • Tim

    awhyeah! i live like 10 minutes from kane county

  • http://Bill Bill

    SWEEEETTTT!

  • Sandberg

    Now bring AAA to Schaumburg. ;)

    • Njriv

      Haha Yes!!!

  • Grant Jones

    Brett, as you can assume I am VERY excited. For other who don’t know I am a batboy for the KC Cougars and also help out our clubhouse manager. Very exciting.

    • Tim

      get me a job! lol

      • Grant Jones

        If only it were that easy haha

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup, this would be pretty sweet for you.

      • Grant Jones

        Defiantly. Hopefully Soler starts the season here, I, missing 2 of the 3 games he’s here labor day weekend for a wedding.

  • WGNstatic

    Ironic I suppose that an A-baller will be a full grown Cougar, hoping to grow up to be a Cub.

  • Deer

    I liked the Cubs having a presence in Cenral Illinois. Too bad.

  • Jesse Ervin

    As a Peoria native finally getting excited about some of the talent coming through town, this blows the big one!

  • MoistassAlou

    Well that SUCKS! I love having the Chiefs just up the road! One more depressing thing about being a central Illinois Cubs fan….

    • Kristin

      I completely agree!

  • Tim

    im sure soler will start next year in Daytona. so next year we have almora, dunston, vogelbach and blackburn to look forward to watching in kane county!

  • Robert007

    This is amazing! I live in kane county and now I can go see some more Cubbies minor league games.

  • scorecardpaul

    I will miss the Chiefs, but good for the Cubs. This front office does things the right way.

  • rhino70

    Well, CRAP! I live about 45 minutes Southwest of Peoria. Gonna miss out on all the Cubbie prospects coming through Central Illinois.

  • IlliniCubFan

    Stole this from a friend, but, how many times do you think the Kane County Cubbies will outdraw the White Sox?

    • Reese

      almost every game…they probably outsell them now cuz its PACKED every single game with police escorts

  • Joe

    Not sure I understand this one. The difference in a drive from Peoria to Wrigley and Kane County to Wrigley is about 45 minutes to an hour.

    It is great marketing for the Cubs in downstate Illinois as well.

    Perhaps the Cubs won’t play in Peoria as much as they have…

  • Kristin

    Not liking this at all! If this happens, there goes my plans to get season tickets for next season with the Chiefs. I understand why the Cubs would want to do this…but it will be disappointing to not see Cub prospects come through Peoria. :(

  • CityCub

    That would of been pretty sweet seeing the A team move from Peoria to South Bend, being that i live 30min from there. Always wondered why the hell the diamondbacks’ A team was in South Bend in the first place lol

  • MightyBear

    Not crazy about this. Don’t see the gain here. I assume it’s money but having that presence in central Ill was very good for the Cubs. I could understand the move from Lansing to Peoria. Don’t see the advantage from Peoria to Kane County.

  • Reese

    I live close to and drive by Kane County Stadium and it’s PACKED every game….they have police escorting traffic in and out of stadium. I cant imagine how it’s going to be once they become a Cubs affiliate…its gonna be even more nucking futs every game!!! But i definitely support this decision & it makes tons of sense to go with the Kane County Cougars.

  • JR

    MLBTR is reporting the Giants are looking for a leftfielder. Too bad we don’t have a match.. Oh wait… Damn those no trade rights.

  • MichCubFan

    I think they could use a closer as well….Marmol and DeJesus?

    • JR

      Sounds good to me. I don’t know if a playoff club would trust Marmol as a closer, but he has been good lately and could add good depth to a pen.

  • Tommy

    That sucks, but I’m not surprised. I think the Cubs have been wanting to get a rehab location as close to Chicago, as possible, and well, this is about as close as you can get.

    Still hope this is wrong, but I fear it’s not. Thanks for the update just the same.

  • Rick

    I wouldn’t be suprised if the cubs add another A team to the system. They need another team to handle all the players.

  • Eric

    Great news for me. Since I live right near the Kane County Cougars. I think this is also a smart business move. A minor league team for the Cubs, in the nearby Chicago suburbs? Are you kidding me? Attendance compared to Peoria will be LAUGHABLE.

  • cubs1967

    YES!

    30 minute drive from lovely Oswego to see Soler next year and maybe Vogelbach!

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