In December, the Mets announced they no longer would field a Gulf Coast League team in Port St. Lucie, the latest in a series of cost-cutting moves for the organization. Now they may be forced to find a new location for their Double-A affiliate in 2013 after reports surfaced Friday that the Binghamton franchise might move to Ottawa.
With construction under way on a minor-league stadium in the Canadian capital city, the Ottawa Citizen reported Friday that the B-Mets will be the Eastern League team headed to that ballpark. But the Mets said there is nothing official on a potential move, and B-Mets president Michael Urda reportedly dismissed the idea that the affiliate will be shipped to Ottawa.
"The Binghamton Mets have not been sold, and we have not been contacted by anyone interested in our club," Urda told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.
The Mets' Double-A affiliate has played in Binghamton since 1992, but its contract is up at the end of this season. With the second-lowest attendance among the 12 teams in the Eastern League, Binghamton is vulnerable to a move, and Ottawa appears to be a significant upgrade.
Switching affiliates is not uncommon for major-league teams, and the process can be like a game of musical chairs when a number of contracts expire at the same time. The Mets jumped from New Orleans to Buffalo -- a much more convenient home for their Triple-A team -- for the 2009 season, and relocating from Binghamton also could be beneficial.
Reports suggest the Mets could move their Double-A team to New Britain, Conn., a two-hour drive from New York City, which is an hour shorter than the ride to Binghamton.