JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Suns and Miami Marlins have agreed to a two-year extension of their player development contract, running through the end of the 2016 season.
The Marlins will continue to furnish the players and coaching personnel for the Suns, a partnership that began with the 2009 season and there has not been a losing season for the Suns as a Marlins affiliate.
"I am proud to renew our affiliation with the Miami Marlins to extend two more seasons with them," said Suns President and Owner Peter Bragan, Jr. "I hope to go see some Major League Baseball playoff games in the next few years in Miami with many former Suns playing for the Marlins!"
The first two years of the Marlins affiliation saw Jacksonville win back-to-back Southern League titles in 2009 and 2010.
Jacksonville has been a fertile proving ground for young Marlins talent, with Miami stars Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos, Derek Dietrich, and Tom Koehler among others all suiting up for the Suns before making it to the majors.
"The Miami Marlins are excited to be continuing our affiliation with the Jacksonville Suns," said Marlins Director of Player Development Brian Chattin. "With its rich baseball history, tremendous fan base and close proximity to our major league club, Jacksonville is an ideal player development partner. We are proud to be affiliated with the Suns and look forward to continuing this productive baseball partnership for many years to come."
In 2013 alone 21 former Suns played for the Marlins, and this year members of Jacksonville's Opening Day roster: Anthony DeSclafani, Andrew Heaney, and J.T. Realmuto have all seen their first major league playing time in Miami.
When the 2016 season is complete, the Suns will have been Miami's Double-A affiliate for eight seasons, matching the longest affiliation for the Suns in the Bragan era of ownership, which was the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2001-08.