The first roster for the Rocky Mountain Vibes as an independent league team will come ready-made thanks to an agreement announced on Friday.
The Vibes will fill the 25-man roster with players from the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League.
The Mexican League, which does not feature teams affiliated with Major League Baseball clubs, is widely considered the competitive equivalent of Double-A or Triple-A. The Acereros won the most recent Mexican League championship in 2019 (the 2020 season was canceled) with a roster that included former MLB players like Eric Young Jr., Chris Carter, Erick Aybar and Al Albuquerque.
The players bound for Colorado Springs comprise what amounts to a minor league club for the Acereros.
“This is a tremendous business opportunity and partnership for both the Vibes and the Acereros,” This partnership will pave the way for future clubs to acquire and develop some of the best talent in the world.
The Vibes were most recently a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate at the Rookie League level but were among the 40 teams dropped from affiliated status in a recent restructuring of the minor leagues. They now compete in the MLB Partnership Pioneer League – able to take minor league players on loan from MLB teams – but must independently fill their roster. The assumption as the new setup takes shape is that recent college or high school players left on the outside from a shortened MLB Draft and slimmer minor league system would populate the roster.
This agreement takes the guesswork out of building that first roster and, the team believes, will boost the level of play.
“From the moment I made the decision to buy a Mexican League team, I knew what was needed to maintain it,” Acereros owner Gerardo Benavides said in a press release. “It was very clear to me that to [win] championships, it was necessary to develop talent, [and] that is why we bet and trust in this challenge of exporting our [players] to [such] a high-level league such as the Pioneer League.”