The Syracuse Chiefs held their annual Hot Stove Dinner on Friday night, and the event was not lacking in luminaries.
Although the Mets will not send their players to Syracuse until 2019, franchise legends Edgardo Alfonzo, Ron Darling, and Tim Teufel were in attendance at the Oncenter Complex to greet fans and offer thoughts on the upcoming partnership.
“We have some talented young guys that are going to come up through here. This is a great city, a great spot for us. It’s the same climate that they’ll play down in Citi Field,” Teufel told Syracuse.com.
Teufel also acknowledged the negatives of the Mets’ current situation in Las Vegas, saying, “It’s 116 degrees out there during the summer. The ball flies and it’s hard to grade out our players evenly with the teams of the International League in this type of climate. So I think it gives us a better chance to evaluate our talent better when we’re in that same kind of location.”
Darling was similarly optimistic, noting the Chiefs’ history. “It seems natural that a New York team would be here. The Yankees when they were here, I know that was a great run for them. I’m hoping the Mets have the same kind of run.”
The quirk of the current situation is that the Mets will own the Syracuse club in 2018, but the Washington Nationals will play out their player development contract, which means sending their own players to upstate New York. After the conclusion of the upcoming season, Washington will need to find another Triple-A affiliate.
“I think that for the Mets, it will give them an opportunity to have a year’s start to really iron out the kinks and make sure when they start with their players, they’ll have all their ducks in a row,” said Chiefs general manager Jason Smorol.
All photos are courtesy of James Farrance for MetsMinors.