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Naturals, Royals extend deal
08/11/2008 6:26 PM ET
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals announced Monday a four-year extension of the club's player development contract with the Kansas City Royals, a pact that will keep the Naturals as Kansas City's Double-A affiliate through the 2012 season.

"We are delighted to have renewed our player development contract with the Kansas City Royals," said Jon Dandes, President of Rich Baseball Operations. "The Royals are committed to a world class player development system and we are excited about continuing our successful partnership with them."

The Naturals are currently in first place and have a five game lead over the Springfield Cardinals in the Texas League North Division. They wrap up a six-game homestand tonight at 7 PM against the Frisco RoughRiders.

This extension is a continuation of a 14 year relationship between Rich Baseball and the Kansas City Royals, nine of which have been under the Glass family ownership. Prior to moving to Northwest Arkansas in April from Wichita, the Wranglers had served as Kansas City's Double-A affiliate in the Texas League since the start of the 1995 season, making the playoffs nine times during their affiliation and winning the Texas League Championship in 1999. The Wranglers finished at .500 or better in 10 of their 13 seasons with the Royals, and, with a 40-22 record at Arvest Ballpark, the Naturals currently have the second-best home record in all of Double-A Baseball.

"We have a tremendous relationship with the Naturals and are excited to call NW Arkansas our home in the coming years," said J.J. Picollo, the Royals' Assistant General Manager, Scouting and Player Development. "The ballpark is one of the best facilities in all the minor leagues and our players are very fortunate to be playing in such a quality place."

Also in attendance at the announcement was Rich Baseball President Jon Dandes, Kansas City Royals Chairman/Owner David Glass, Royals' President Dan Glass, Royals' Vice President- Baseball Operations/Assistant General Manager Dean Taylor, and Naturals' Manager Brian Poldberg and General Manager Eric Edelstein.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The Naturals have a toll-free ticket hotline (1-877-444-2637) for fans to purchase Naturals tickets. Our website also offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket windows by printing their tickets at home or at the office.