The Washington Nationals renewed their player development contracts through the 2018 season with Single-A Auburn of the New York Penn League and Single-A Potomac of the Carolina League. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Nationals Vice President and Senior Advisor to the General Manager Bob Boone, Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Harris and Director of Player Development Mark Scialabba made the joint announcement.
With these agreements, Washington has now extended all of its Minor League affiliates through the 2018 season.
"We are really pleased to have extended our contracts with both of these affiliates," Rizzo said. "Auburn and Potomac have been great homes for our players and these clubs play such an important role in developing our players and shaping the future of the Washington Nationals. Some of our most exciting Major League players spent time learning their craft at each of these affiliates, and we couldn't do what we do at the big league level without them."
"We are thrilled to continue developing players in Auburn and Potomac for at least the next two years," added Harris. "Moreover, we're really proud to have secured our contracts with all of our affiliates through the 2018 season. That continuity across all levels of our system is such a boon to our entire organization and the talent we're able to develop for the Major League team."
The Nationals began their relationship with Auburn in 2010, making it the first stop for many of their players as they begin their ascent through the Minor League system. In the last six years, Auburn has posted a 215-235 record with division championships in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, some of Washington's best Major League talent has spent time there, including Anthony Rendon, Aaron Barrett, Wilmer Difo, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Taylor Hill, as well as current top prospects like Victor Robles and Erick Fedde.
"Over the past six seasons, the Auburn Doubledays staff, community and fans have provided the ideal environment to begin many of our players' careers in professional baseball," Scialabba said. "We couldn't be happier with this announcement."
"We are very excited to extend our Player Development Contract with the Washington Nationals for another two years," said Doubledays President Doug Selby. "We are looking forward to working with the Nationals' players and staff to build on the success of the past six seasons."
The Doubledays were formed in 1957 and began play in the NY-P League the following season. Prior to aligning with the Nationals, Auburn served as the short-season affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-2010.
Likewise, Washington will continue to enjoy its relationship with the Potomac Nationals. Since 2005, the Nationals have been developing their top prospects in Woodbridge, VA with the P-Nats, and have watched many turn into exceptional Major League players. The current Nationals' roster boasts several players who spent time in Potomac, including Sammy Solis, Wilmer Difo, Pedro Severino, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Koda Glover, A.J. Cole, Matt Grace, and Aaron Barrett, among others.
During the life of the Nationals' partnership with Potomac, the P-Nats have won three Carolina League championships: 2008, 2010, and 2014.
"Potomac has been a great partner for us, and a great home for our Minor League players and Major League rehabbers," Scialabba said. "We're lucky to have an affiliate with such close proximity to the Major League club's home stadium, and are happy to continue our valuable relationship with the P-Nats and their community."
"The Potomac Nationals are unequivocally proud and privileged to remain affiliated with the Washington Nationals through the 2018 campaign," said Potomac General Manager of Sales Bryan Holland. "Our parent club has established a tradition of graduating top-tier talents who have spent a meaningful part of their Minor League careers in Woodbridge, and the Potomac Baseball franchise is humbled to play a role in that player development process through the conduit of our invaluable partnership with the Washington Nationals."