New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon committed to Syracuse Chiefs, Central New York
The New York Mets and Syracuse Chiefs are now one.
At least until 2026.
The Mets made the move official on Tuesday, traveling up to Central New York to introduce themselves to city and state officials from NBT Bank Stadium.
New York COO Jeff Wilpon was introduced by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, along with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Wilpon was complimentary of the city's future, while also confirming the Chiefs' momentum that's been building in recent years.
"Mets baseball in New York is just a good thing," Wilpon told reporters on Tuesday. "Jason’s [Smorol] staying on, the staff, they’re all staying on. We’ll add some of our people and Paul Taglerey who’s the head of all minor league operations. We’ll do this again, how’s that?
"I know that Mets baseball in New York is a good thing," Wilpon continued. "It’s not that I don’t know about the fan base, I know there are baseball fans here."
Many Chiefs fans were wondering about the future of team General Manager Jason Smorol, but Wilpon cleared the air on the situation with the aforementioned quote.
The Mets' previous Triple-A club was based out of Las Vegas, making it geographically difficult to send players back-and-forth between the minor and major leagues on a consistent basis.
With their new Triple-A team being based out of Central New York, the Mets will no longer have to consider cross-country trips to bring players from the Pacific Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone.
"You’re going to see a lot of players going back and forth -- like we have gone back and forth to Binghamton and wherever the Triple-A team is," Wilpon said.
Additionally, NBT Bank Stadium will now be owned and operated by the New York Mets. The ballpark had been community-owned prior to this week's events.
"We plan to be here long term and bring some capital to the ballpark," Wilpon added. "They have told us we would have a conversation [with the] county and state bringing some capital until we prove it. I know there are a lot of changes going on around the ballpark here that they have talked to me about and I think that adds up to a long term relationship."
Major League ownership can bring about countless positive changes. Wilpon did not rule out a potential new stadium down the road, but did comment on a commitment to making NBT Bank Stadium as modernized as the rest across the Triple-A landscape.
The Chiefs' current deal continues with the Washington Nationals through 2018, which means the New York Mets would not take over until 2019. However, if the Nationals agree to allow the Mets to take over the Chiefs prior to the 2018 season, the Mets could begin ownership as early as next season.
Until then, it's a wait-and-see game with the Washington Nationals.
One thing is for certain -- the New York Mets taking over the Syracuse Chiefs is a positive impact on Central New York.
When they take over, though, remains up in the air.