When the Augusta GreenJackets signed a two-year player development contract with the San Francisco Giants last week, the Boston Red Sox were left without a low Class A affiliate.
The Capital City Bombers changed that Tuesday when they signed a two-year deal with the Red Sox, moving the Boston affiliate about 80 miles on Interstate 20 from Augusta to Columbia.
"The Bombers provide the Red Sox with a great fit," Ben Cherington, Boston's director of player development, said in a statement.
"We wanted to stay on the East Coast, and South Carolina is an easy place to get to from both our northern-based affiliates as well as Fort Myers."
The Giants' move to Augusta left some local Red Sox fans upset, but Boston's deal with Capital City eases the pain a little.
GreenJackets' season-ticket holders David Smithers and Carl Chesley, who are both Red Sox fans, said they'll probably make at least a few trips to Columbia to see the Bombers play.
Capital City President Rich Mozingo said the Bombers and their former partner, the New York Mets, both went looking at other options after the season.
"Boston was appealing because it's Boston," Mozingo said. "... Either you love them or you hate them. That was a real draw to us."
The Mets signed with Hagerstown, Md., which had been home to the Giants before Augusta took over.
Others moves within the South Atlantic League include the New York Yankees moving to Charleston, S.C., in place of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Milwaukee Brewers replacing the Toronto Blue Jays in Charleston, W.Va.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The South Atlantic League has seen numerous affiliation changes this season:
TEAMOLD AFFILIATENEW AFFILIATE
Augusta GreenJacketsRed SoxGiants
Capital City BombersMetsRed Sox
Charleston, S.C.Devil RaysYankees
Charleston, W.Va.Blue JaysBrewers