Cubs, Kane County announce partnership

The Chicago Cubs and Kane County Cougars have announced a player development contract, making one of the Midwest League's most successful franchises an affiliate of the local favorite Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs will now call Geneva, Ill. the home of their Low-A affiliate. The organization agreed to a four-year player development contract with the Kane County Cougars, one of the Midwest League's most successful franchises.

In conjunction with the move, the Cubs' former Low-A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs, agreed to a partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cougars have previously been affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins, Oakland Athletics, and most recently the Kansas City Royals.

The Cougars now have a partnership with an organization located less than an hour away with a passionate fanbase embedded locally. It serves as a perfect match for both parties.

"We are extremely excited about our new relationship with the Chicago Cubs," said Cougars general manager Curtis Haug in a statement. "The close proximity between both organizations will be mutually beneficial in numerous ways. We believe that the Cubs organization and their philosophies about the minor leagues, including scouting, player development, and involvement in the community, are a fantastic fit for our franchise."

The Cubs organization also renewed partnerships with the short-season affiliate Boise Hawks and High-A Daytona Cubs.

"The players who have come through Daytona and Boise have spoken highly of those cities and their fans," Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said. "With Kane County, it is exciting to know we now have a Cubs affiliate right in our backyard. We look forward to successful relationships with each of these affiliates."

The Cubs' partnership with Kane County is mutually beneficial. Fans of the Cubs can pack Fifth-Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva to watch their favorite prospects while the Cubs' front office brass can scout after a quick drive west.

Mark your calenders for April 4, when the Cougars open up the 2013 campaign as a member of the Chicago Cubs organization.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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