The Trenton Thunder, which lost their minor league Yankees affiliate to the Somerset Patriots last month, will get a new team in time for next season.
“Trenton is saved,” Gov. Phil Murphy said today. “They will be part of a new MLB draft league — a new MLB minor league. They will have a 2021 season. That’s good news.”
The Yankees dropped their affiliation with the Trenton team last month and announced that the Somerset Patriots would be their Class AA minor league team.
It’s not immediately clear which major league team the Trenton club will be affiliated with.
“On behalf of the residents of our great city, we welcome MLB’s new Draft League, which will have our very own Trenton Thunder as a founding member,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora. “We thank MLB for stepping up to the plate and making sure baseball still has a home in the Capital City.”
Trenton Thunder owner Joseph Plumeri accused the Yankees of making a “calculated and ungracious maneuver to leave the urban setting of Trenton for the affluent confines of Bridgewater.”
“It seems the Yankees were only focused on trying to cut culturally diverse Trenton down in favor of a wealthy, higher socioeconomic area in Somerset,” Plumeri said. “Despite repeated assurances that the Thunder would remain its Double A affiliate over the last 16 months, the Yankees betrayed their partnership at the 11th hour.”
Plumeri alleged that the Yankees “misled and abandoned the Thunder and the taxpayers of Mercer County, who have invested millions of dollars over the years to ensure that Arm & Hammer Park remains one of the premier ballparks in America.”
“We’re sure our community will enjoy the chance to watch a new generation of major league prospects at our waterfront stadium. It will be exciting to see top college players showcase their skills as they ready themselves for MLB. Their successes will be a wonderful inspiration to our youth,” Gusciora said. “Plus, keeping the Thunder in business is good for our local economy and provides badly needed jobs for our residents.”
This story was updated at 5:39 PM with comment from Gusciora.