On the day that the California League (where the San Jose Giants play) lost two teams due to relocation, the San Francisco Giants and the Short Season Volcanoes extended their Player Development Contract for another two seasons, through 2018. The Giants will be in charge of supplying the players and coaches.
According to the press release, the deal was finalized during a recent visit to Salem-Keizer by Yeshayah Goldfarb, Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Giants. The two teams joined forces back in 1994 in Bellingham, Washington with a four-year agreement which included a relocation of the team to Volcanoes Stadium in Salem-Keizer in 1997. The two clubs will now be linked for a span of at least 24 years.
GM Bobby Evans had this to say of the deal: "We are very pleased to extend our agreement in Salem-Keizer. The Giants have enjoyed being a part of the Salem-Keizer community and have particularly appreciated the commitment of the Volcanoes' ownership and management team. We look forward to continuing an already great association with the Volcanoes. They provide an ideal situation for the Giants to develop our players; an excellent stadium, wonderful climate, consistent and passionate ownership, a generous host family program and terrific fan support. Jerry and Lisa Walker continue to reinvest into the facility and the Giants look forward to being at Volcanoes Stadium for many years into the future."
San Francisco has a knack for keeping their affiliates for a long time. Before the 2015 season, they switched Triple-A affiliates from Fresno to Sacramento, who had formerly been hosting the Oakland Athletics Triple-A team. In terms of business, the deal made a lot of sense as the River Cats have been one of the best draws in the Pacific Coast League and are a bit closer to the parent club's Bay Area roots. Aside from that move, the Giants have been linked with High-A San Jose since 1990, Double-A Richmond since 2010 and the Low-A Augusta GreenJackets since 2005. Every couple of years affiliates tend to swap in the minor leagues with many of the contracts being between two and four years, but the Giants have remained loyal to a number of their affiliates throughout history.
Back in 1966 their Triple-A affiliate was in Phoenix, Arizona and they remained linked through 1997 when the Giants moved their affiliation to Fresno, which ran for another 17 seasons.
Next season the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes will be hosting an event which includes baseball (of course), a BeerFest, and a solar eclipse. The game on that August day will have an early start time, and will have a planned delay that will encompass the eclipse. It's about a year away, so start your planning now!