The Colorado Rockies have finalized an agreement to become the parent club for the Short Season-A Boise Hawks of the Northwest League, according to a source. Boise has confirmed the news via its Twitter account.
The latest affiliation switch seems to be a good one for the Rockies, if for no other reason than the population of the Boise metropolitan area exceeds 600,000. That's not a bad market for the Rockies to tap into, even if the Hawks' ballpark, Memorial Stadium, doesn't appear to be the greatest based on photos or reputation.
The move finalizes the Rockies' shuffling of several of their minor league affiliates. The team agreed to new player development contracts with Triple-A Albuquerque and Double-A New Britain on Monday, officially ending long relationships with the Colorado Springs and Tulsa clubs.
But no relationship was longer than the one the Rockies had with the Tri-City Dust Devils. Before a pair of moves, the Dust Devils way back in 1992 were known as the Bend Rockies. That team, which featured 10 future big leaguers, was the first ever fielded by the Rockies organization. The franchise moved to Portland in 1995, then on to Tri-City -- an area in southeastern Washington that includes the towns of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland -- in 2001.
Boise previously served as the Northwest League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs since 2001. Ironically, the franchise was at one time housed in the Tri-City area in the 1980s, back when it was an affiliate of the Texas Rangers.