(CBS) The Cubs are moving their Class-A squad from suburban Kane County to South Bend, Ind., they announced Thursday. The new deal for South Bend to be a Cubs affiliate will run through 2018.

The news wasn’t unexpected, as the Cubs recently didn’t renew their contract with the Cougars. The move was driven by the Cubs baseball operations department’s desire to have better facilities for their minor leaguers, the Daily Herald’s Bruce Miles reported.

“We are excited to partner with South Bend and look forward to a productive relationship with the team, as well as the entire South Bend community,” Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said in a statement. “Making the decision to switch minor league affiliates is never an easy one, but we are confident that this agreement will further strengthen our farm system.

“The Cubs are fortunate to have had the opportunity to play in Kane County the past two years and we thank Dr. Bob Froehlich, the entire front office, and all of the Cougars fans for their support. We are proud that our relationship culminated with a Midwest League title this past season.”

The Cubs Class-A squad had been in Kane County for two seasons after previously being located in Peoria.

The Cougars went out with a bang as a Cubs affiliate, winning the Midwest League title last Saturday.

The Diamondbacks and Athletics are the favorites to have a new partnership with Kane County, Miles reported.

The South Bend franchise will unveil a new name, logo and uniform, Thursday in a 9 a.m. press conference.