The Indianapolis Indians have agreed to a licensing deal to remain the Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate for Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates through 2030.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, continues a partnership that has been in place since 2005. The Indians are one of 120 teams to remain part of the modified minor league system that began undergoing massive cuts last year amid the pandemic.
The team will compete in the 20-team Triple-A East division after more than 20 years in the International League. The new league includes the Iowa Cubs, Louisville Bats, Toledo Mud Hens and Columbus Clippers.
“We look forward to entering a new era of Minor League Baseball and to working directly with Major League Baseball,” Randy Lewandowski, the Indians’ president and general manager, said in written remarks. “We are also excited to continue our partnership and Triple-A affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
The Indians have had several affiliations over the years, joining the Pirates organization after five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. The franchise has also been a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. It was also an affiliate of the Pirates from 1948-1951.
The Indians, founded in 1901, played 119 consecutive seasons before calling off the 2020 season due to the pandemic.