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Iowa Cubs sign agreement to remain Cubs Triple-A affiliate through 2030

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Iowa will remain part of the Cubs family for at least another decade.

Principal Park in Des Moines, home of the Iowa Cubs
Principal Park in Des Moines, home of the Iowa Cubs
Dylan Heuer

There wasn’t really much of a doubt, but today it became official: The Iowa Cubs will be the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs through the 2030 season.

The Iowa Cubs have been the Cubs top affiliate since 1981, making them now the fifth-longest continuous affiliation in baseball. (Or the fourth-longest, if you consider the newly-relocated Worcester Red Sox to be a different team than the Pawtucket Red Sox.) The 2020 season would have been their 40th year playing Cubs baseball. Now, this upcoming 2021 season will be.

In the past, minor league teams were only allowed to sign deals with a major league team for two- or four-year terms. Under the new agreement that radically restructured minor league baseball, teams are required to agree to ten-year terms. Those contracts can be broken if one side or the other fails to live up to the terms, but there is little to no reason to believe that will happen between Iowa and Chicago.

Teams had until February 10 to sign the Professional Development Licenses that major league teams had sent to them last December. There is little doubt that all 120 teams that got an invitation would sign them, since the alternative is either becoming an independent league team or going out of business. But the I-Cubs became one of the first to officially sign on the dotted line.

Over the past several seasons, we’ve joked around here that any player that gets called up and sent back down multiple times in a season was on the “Iowa Shuttle,” or alternatively the “Des Moines Shuttle.” With this new deal, we can look forward to another decade of players hopping the commuter flights between Des Moines and Chicago.