There’s not much to negotiate when the Spokane Indians and Texas Rangers negotiate.
“We’ve been together so long that’s it’s really the little things, it’s the relationships,” Rangers president of baseball operations/general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday while visiting Avista Stadium. … “So when you sit down to do one of these deals, you’re not starting from scratch. Those things have already been discussed.”
Daniels visited Spokane on the day the teams announced a two-year extension of their player development contract, through the 2016 season. The teams have been affiliated since the 2003 season, when the Indians won the first of their three Northwest League titles while having the Rangers as their major league parent club.
“I think this is the crown jewel of short-season clubs and certainly in the Northwest League,” Daniels said. … “I think it’s a great experience for our players at this level to play, from a facilities standpoint, with the community ownership and (the fact) you get 6,000 fans in here. That helps from a development standpoint. It’s an elevated environment to challenge them.”
Since the affiliation began, the Indians have led the league in attendance every season and have sent 42 players to the big leagues.
Daniels watched his Rangers pick up a win Monday in Seattle and plans to return to see today’s game at Safeco Field. It’s been a long year for Texas, which played in the World Series in 2010 and ’11, but Daniels sees that as a bump in the road.
“Some of it is about getting our players healthy, some of it is getting more out of our established group … and we have to develop the younger players,” Daniels said. … “We can’t win in the big leagues without developing our own players.”
Five of the Rangers’ seven affiliates qualified for postseason this summer, including the Indians.