The Mobile BayBears announced Tuesday afternoon that have agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The new two-year player development contract will begin at the start of 2017 season.
The BayBears will remain in the Southern League and will now be the Angels new “AA” affliliate.
The Angels become the third team the BayBears have been apart of since 1997, joining the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Yesterday, the BayBears and Diamondbacks announced the end of their professional relationship.
“The Los Angeles Angels are very excited to begin a partnership with the Mobile BayBears,” Angels General Manager Billy Eppler said in a press release. “This will be a great home for our Double-A players and staff.”
The BayBears are coming off a disappointing finish in the Southern League for the 2016 season. They finished the season fourth in their division with a record of 65-73.
However, this is a new start for the Mobile BayBears. The new contract with the Angels will be the first time in the team’s history that it will be an American League affiliate.
“We are thrilled to be entering into this new partnership with the Los Angeles Angels,” BayBears General Manager Chris Morgan said in a press release. “Billy Eppler and the Angels front office is dedicated to developing quality players at the minor league level and everyone associated with the BayBears organization will work tirelessly to provide a positive environment for this development.”
The BayBears will continue to play their home games at Hank Aaron Stadium, but they still face the troubling issue of attendance.
Last year, Mobile was last in the Southern League for attendance.They only sold 96,185 tickets for the entire 2016 season, which was 30,000 below the next team. The BayBears played 63 home games last season with an average attendance of 1,527.