Minnesota Twins announced a partnership Wednesday with the Cedar Rapids Kernels as the team's new Low-A minor league affiliate. The contract with the Kernels runs through the 2016 season, according to Cedar Rapids' website.
"The entire Twins organization is thrilled to join into partnership with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and we look forward to working with the Kernels organization on the field and in the community," said Jim Rantz, the Twins' senior director of minor leagues, in a statement.
The Beloit Snappers had served as the team's Low-A affiliate since 2005. Prior to that, the team's Low-A club was the Quad Cities River Bandits. The Kernels finished 53-86 this season, while the Snappers went 77-63 and clinched a spot in the Midwest League playoffs.
Cedar Rapids' facility is much newer than the one in Beloit. Additionally, its proximity to the Twin Cities is more ideal than the Snappers — a trip to Beloit takes about five and a half hours, while the commute to Cedar Rapids is about an hour shorter.
"We are very excited to begin a new chapter in Kernels baseball with our agreement with the Twins," Kernels president Gary Koeppel said in a statement. "Our fans have expressed their desires for an affiliation with a Midwest team and now that has happened."
The Kernels begin their 2013 Midwest League season at home on April 4 against, ironically enough, the Beloit Snappers.