Yankees Acquire Somerset Patriots

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Matt Lesnik, Section Editor

For those who live in Central Jersey, going to a Somerset Patriots game is a must do, and something that most from around the area have done. Now, their games are about to get a little more exciting, as the New York Yankees have acquired the Atlantic League team to be their Double-A ball club. This would make them an official Minor League affiliate of the Yankees. 

This is historic for the Patriots, as they have never been an affiliate of any Major League team. The Patriots have been a part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent on the east coast of the United States. Typically, teams in this league don’t make it very far. There are more teams that have gone under than teams currently in the league. The Patriots were one of the two last original teams in the league, the other being the Road Warriors, a traveling team. 

Now, what does it mean to be affiliated with a Major League team, and really be a Minor League team? First, the Yankees do not own the Patriots, as they are just an affiliate. They have their own independent owner. However, because they are affiliated with the Yankees, the Yankees have the right to send down and call up whoever they please from the Patriots. This also means that the roster of the Trenton Thunder, the former Yankees Double-A team, are now on the Patriots roster. 

The Patriots are the first team from the Atlantic League to get an affiliation with a Major League ball club, and it was well overdue. For the past few years, the MLB has been experimenting with potential rule changes in the league, opening up other potential opportunities for the team affiliated with the league. Don’t be surprised if more teams in the Atlantic League become affiliated with other Major League clubs. 

The Patriots have always been supported by those who live in Somerset County and the Central Jersey area. That is what got them this far. Usually, teams in independent leagues don’t have the backing and support to make it that far, and fold within a matter of years. However, because the Patriots had that backing, they were able to make it twenty-two years, and now have a new life with the New York Yankees. They will gain even more support from fans, and bring in a new wave of them.