In both the Manchester Union Leader and at his personal Gray Matter blog, Kevin Gray throws some cold water on the notion of the Jays Double-A affiliate landing in Ottawa after the 2012 season, though… it’s kind of an exercise in non-denial denials.
“The Blue Jays have a great relationship with New Hampshire. The only way the Blue Jays would ever leave New Hampshire — and nobody, absolutely nobody has talked with Toronto about this happening — would be if another team agreed to come here,” said Fisher Cats president Rick Brenner, apparently ignoring the rumour that Ottawa is working on purchasing the Binghamton Mets. “It would have to be a win-win situation for everyone.”
“The Fisher Cats will remain in New Hampshire,” Gray writes, “whether they are aligned with the Blue Jays, Twins, Rays or another team. And Ottawa is a long way from landing a team.”
On his blog he tosses in some speculation. “If I had to venture a guess,” he writes, “I’d say they’ll extend the PDC for another two years with an announcement this spring or summer.”
“Charlie Wilson, Toronto’s director of minor league operations, has told me the Blue Jays want to stay in Manchester as long as possible,” he adds, “saying the club’s relationship with NH is ‘amazing.’ ”
So… they’re saying all the things they’re supposed to say, but there’s not a whole lot that really indicates that the Jays won’t be switching affiliations this summer. Which, of course, isn’t to say that they will. But it’s a no-brainer, given the club’s national marketing strategy and their wildly successful affiliation with the Vancouver Canadians, that if the option is there, the Jays will want to be in the nation’s capital. Total no-brainer.