On Wednesday, the Kansas City Royals invited the Quad Cities River Bandits to become an affiliate, the same day Major League Baseball made it official that the team has been promoted from "Single-A" to "Advanced-A" baseball. Eleven other Midwest League teams will also move up one level of play.
The bandits will receive a long-term "Player Development License" from Major League Baseball in the next two weeks. And the affiliation agreement with the Royals will last at least five years.
River Bandits owner, Dave Heller, says the deal means the players who play at Modern Woodmen Park will be more likely to reach the majors, quote, "It’s a higher level of play, with better pitchers and better hitters and more experienced players."
The Kansas City Royals also made offers to offers teams in Omaha, Northwest Arkansas, and Columbia, South Carolina. And the affiliation agreements will probably be completed after January 1st.
Three members of the Midwest League did not receive affiliation invitations - Clinton, Burlington, and Kane County. In a news release, Clinton General Manager Ted Tornow said this was not a surprise, and he plans to announce their future plans soon.