When the Washington Nationals and Syracuse Chiefs announced a four-year extension of the Player Development Contract with their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman, that it was the first long-term agreement they reached with an affiliate.
"'It speaks to how much the Nationals organization values the Chiefs and the Syracuse community,'" Rizzo said in a press conference in upstate New York. "'In a sports-centric town like Syracuse, the Chiefs are a community pillar, and we are proud to be aligned with both the town and the team.'"
This afternoon, the Nationals and Double-A Harrisburg Senators announced that they too had agreed upon a four-year Player Development Contract Extension:
The #Nats today announced the signing of a 4-year Player Development Contract extension (beginning in 2015) with the Double-A @HbgSenators.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 15, 2014
The @nationals and the #HbgSens are pleased to announce a 4 year extension to their player development contract. pic.twitter.com/ihyw3l12f3— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) January 15, 2014
Harrisburg has served as the franchise's Double-A affiliate since 1991 when the Montreal Expos moved from Jacksonville. Since 2005, according to the Senators (on Twitter @HBGSenators), 53 players who've worn a Harrisburg uniform have eventually pulled on a Nationals jersey:
53 players have suited up for the #Nats after playing for the Senators.— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) January 15, 2014
The new player development contract extends the partnership through 2018.— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) January 15, 2014
Here's what Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo had to say about the extension in a press release from the Nats:
"Our partnership with Harrisburg and the Senators dates back more than 20 years, and it is with that history in mind that we are excited to sign on with them for another four," Rizzo said. "Harrisburg is an Eastern League gem, and we are proud to continue our association with a team, and a town, that have such rich baseball histories.
"From a baseball standpoint, the Senators have served as a fantastic breeding ground for some of our organization's most talented players, and helped launch the Major League careers of many. The Senators connection in our clubhouse runs deep."
#Nats GM Mike Rizzo announces 4-year extension with the Harrisburg Senators. We talk to him at 6 & 11 pm pic.twitter.com/S5IctaDxaV— Gregg Mace (@greggmaceABC27) January 15, 2014
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