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Las Vegas 51s new Mets Triple-A affiliate

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, second from

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, second from left, and Don Logan, right, general manager of the Las Vegas 51s, pose for photos with showgirls before a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas. (March 4, 2009) Credit: AP

Las Vegas will be home to the Mets' Triple-A affiliate for the next two seasons, the club announced on Monday night.

"We are excited about our new partnership with the Las Vegas 51s and the city of Las Vegas, one which values equally player development, winning and community involvement," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement.

After weeks of speculation, the signing of the two-year player development deal officially ends the Mets' relationship with Buffalo, which will become the Triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays.

Las Vegas plays in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, where hitting and pitching numbers are often skewed by conditions such as high altitude and heat.

But Mets manager Terry Collins called it a "fallacy" to assume that pitchers will struggle in the PCL's extreme environments. He also played down the challenge evaluating position players despite the inflated offensive statistics that are typical of the PCL.

"You really use your scouts and your player development people to really define the skills because that's what you're going to notice," Collins said. "Sometimes you've got to back off the results."

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