Prior to the season we heard word that the State College Spikes weren’t satisfied as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate, and were considering looking for a new organization after the 2012 season when the deal expired between the two teams. According to Rob Biertempfel, the Spikes have signed a two year deal with St. Louis, making them a Cardinals affiliate. Earlier today, Biertempfel mentioned that the Pirates broke off talks with State College, and that they could sign with Jamestown or Batavia.
When the news first came out at the start of the season, there was talk that the Pirates could go a temporary location, and eventually move the team to Morgantown. That set up would be more convenient for the transactions between the two low-A affiliates, as Morgantown is less than three hours away from Charleston, WV, where the West Virginia Power play. That distance is three hours less than the distance between State College and Charleston.
In the process, the Pirates are leaving a good set up in State College. The stadium was one of the nicer minor league stadiums I’ve been to, which is notable since it’s a short-season stadium. A lot of the parks in the New York-Penn League are old and worn down, including Batavia and Jamestown. State College had an advantage because the baseball field was shared with Penn State’s baseball team. A team in Morgantown would most likely be shared with WVU’s baseball team, so the same conditions would probably exist. However, State College is set up to match the layout of PNC Park exactly, which made the Spikes a great fit for the Pirates. It will be interesting to see if they take the same approach with Morgantown, assuming that’s the eventual destination.