The Indianapolis Indians have agreed a licensing agreement to remain the triple-A minor league baseball subsidiary of the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball through 2030.
The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, continues a partnership that has existed since 2005. The Indians are one of 120 teams remaining part of the modified minor league system that saw massive cuts over the past year amid the pandemic.
After more than 20 years in the International League, the team will compete in the Triple-A East Division with 20 teams. The new league includes the Iowa Cubs, Louisville Bats, Toledo Mud Hens, and Columbus Clippers.
“We look forward to entering a new era of minor league baseball and working directly with major league baseball,” said Randy Lewandowski, president and general manager of the Indians, in writing. “We are also excited to continue our partnership and Triple-A membership with the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
The Indians have had multiple connections over the years, joining the pirate organization after five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. The franchise was also a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Boston Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies. It was also a subsidiary of the Pirates from 1948 to 1951.
Founded in 1901, the Indians played 119 seasons in a row before dropping out of the 2020 season because of the pandemic.