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Blue Jays sign Triple-A deal with Buffalo Bisons

People wait for the launch of the Toronto Blue Jays new uniforms with a familiar look that connects the past with the future in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

The Canadian Press

The Toronto Blue Jays have confirmed that they have entered into a new Triple-A player development contact with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League.

"This relationship is a natural fit, both geographically and philosophically," Blue Jays president and chief executive officer Paul Beeston said in a news release. "The Bisons are committed to winning and the Rich family to providing an environment consistent with the values we are establishing with the Blue Jays.

"Simply put, we are fortunate they have agreed to align with our program and we thank them for the confidence they have shown in us."

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The new agreement ends a four-year relationship that the Blue Jays have had with the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League. The 51s have entered into a new agreement with the New York Mets.

The move makes so much sense to the Blue Jays just from a geographical standpoint as Buffalo is only a 90-minute drive from Toronto.

It also marks a return to New York State to house the team's top minor-league affiliate.

The club had a working agreement with Syracuse of the International League for 31 years that ended in 2008.

"With only 160 kilometres (99 miles) separating the two fields, we will have greater flexibility to make roster decisions and an increased opportunity to watch our most developed prospects," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "We look forward to providing the Bisons with an exciting and talented roster."

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