Bisons' owner Robert E. Rich Jr. announced the arrangement at a news conference with Dan O'Brien, Cleveland's senior vice president for baseball administration.
"Bob Rich stopped in on a trip back from California to Buffalo and we had a great evening," O'Brien said.
The two spoke by phone a few days letter and agreed that it would be in their mutual interest to join forces, the officials said.
Cleveland, which plays in the Eastern Division of the American League, had a Triple A contract with the Maine Guides of the International League last season. But the Guides were sold to investors in Scranton, Pa., after the season.
The Bisons were affiliated with the Chicago White Sox the past two seasons. But Rich terminated the agreement after it ran its two-year length.
Rich held considerable bargaining power with major league teams interested in a Triple A franchise affiliation, because Buffalo was the only unaffiliated Triple A team east of the Rockies.
That meant that teams such as Pittsburgh, Minnesota and the White Sox will have to sign on with teams in Portland, Ore., Vancouver, British Columbia, and Hawaii, dramatically increasing their travel costs for players and coaches.
The Indians and the Bisons were affiliated in 1983 and 1984 when the Bisons played in the Double-A Eastern League.