You can't put a price on convenience.

Especially when that convenience allows Cubs fans the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the future.

As the big-league club marched toward a 96-loss season fans in the Chicagoland area could turn their attention to the prospects playing for the Kane County Cougars just 40 miles from Wrigley Field.

As an organization the Cubs have not had a minor-league affiliate that close to Chicago. Prior to the 2013 season the closest place fans could catch a glimpse of Cubs prospects was 160 miles south in Peoria Ill.

"It was some of what we expected" said Jason McLeod Cubs director of scouting and player development. "It's always really beneficial and convenient of course to have an affiliate right down the road.

"We had that somewhat in San Diego where we had one of our teams an hour north. In Boston we had three teams within two hours. The ability to hop out of the office to get down there to an affiliate whether it's just to see a game or deal with something going on in the clubhouse a player move the rehab aspect of it when Scott Baker was down there it's a real convenience.

"And then on top of that you got the relationships we're building with the people in Kane County. It makes it exciting. And then the fans. Seeing a lot of Cougars and Cubs jerseys out in the crowd was great."

The Cougars didn't fare much better than their parent club with a 55-80 record but fans got to see names such as Albert Almora Dan Vogelbach and Pierce Johnson play at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.