Indians Extend Agreement With Triple-A Buffalo

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Buffalo Bisons will be the Cleveland Indians' minor league Triple-A affiliate for at least four more seasons.

The Indians announced Tuesday that they have extended their player development contract with Buffalo through the 2006 season.

"We're very excited about the extension of our working agreement with the Cleveland Indians," said Bisons president Robert E. Rich, Jr. "Since the partnership began with the Indians in 1995, our fans have witnessed a level of success, which has never been seen in over 100 seasons of professional baseball in Buffalo."

Since becoming the Indians' top minor league affiliate in '95, the Bisons have gone 583-423 and have qualified for the playoffs six times in the past seven years.

Buffalo won the International League title in 1998.

Several players on Cleveland's current 25-man roster played in Buffalo, including pitchers Bartolo Colon, Danys Baez and Paul Shuey and outfielders Milton Bradley and Russell Branyan.

"From the first day of our agreement, the Bisons organization has been unwavering in their support of our players and organization," said Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. "Together we have built a strong partnership, both on and off the field."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)