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MLB, National Association extend deal
03/08/2011 3:00 PM ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) have reached an agreement on a new six-year Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), extending through the 2020 season, it was announced today.

The NAPBL leagues unanimously approved the agreement in January, followed by the unanimous approval of Major League Baseball owners.

"Major League Baseball is very happy to continue its partnership with Minor League Baseball," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Nearly 115 million fans attended Major League and Minor League games last season, and the security of this agreement will allow us to build on the prosperity that our game has achieved."

"Minor League Baseball is extremely proud of its relationship with Major League Baseball," said Pat O'Conner, President of Minor League Baseball. "The extension of the Professional Baseball Agreement ensures the future of professional baseball through the end of the decade. I would like to thank Commissioner Selig for his leadership and support in ushering this agreement to fruition. The Major League owners have shown great confidence in our relationship by agreeing to this extension, and the cooperation, hard work and diligence of Jimmie Lee Solomon in spearheading the efforts of the Office of the Commissioner exemplifies the trust of our relationship."

The agreement guarantees that Major League teams will field at least 160 National Association teams through the life of the extension by means of Player Development Contracts (PDC) and/or ownership of National Association teams.

The extension continues many aspects of the previous contact, which was reached in 2005 and extended through 2014. Both parties will remain committed to ongoing efforts to improve player development, fan experience and the business stability of Minor League Baseball.