Yankees extend contract with Thunder

Double-A Trenton affiliate to stay with club through 2014

(Trenton Thunder)

By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com | September 24, 2008 12:00 PM

TORONTO -- The Yankees have extended their player development contract with the Trenton Thunder, the club's Double-A affiliate, through the 2014 season.

An announcement was made on Wednesday at Mercer County Waterfront Park in Trenton, N.J., with general manager Brian Cashman in attendance. The Thunder have been the Yankees' affiliate since 2003 and were crowned Eastern League champions this year for the second consecutive season.

"Extending our PDC with Trenton was a no-brainer," Cashman said. "The Yankees won't settle for anything less than the best, and the Thunder is by far the best Double-A franchise in baseball."

The Thunder completed the franchise's 15th season in 2008. Trenton has been affiliated with the Detroit Tigers (1994), the Boston Red Sox (1995-2002) and the New York Yankees (2003-present) in their history.

"When the Yankees came to Mercer County six years ago, both the Thunder organization and Mercer County promised Brian Cashman and the Yankees that they would never want to leave Trenton," said Thunder president and owner Joe Finley.

"I think the Yankees' commitment to stay at Mercer County Waterfront Park for an additional six years demonstrates that the Thunder and Mercer County have delivered on their promise. We look forward to providing the best setting for player development in all of Minor League Baseball for as long as this great game is being played."

In 2008, the Thunder became the first team in the history of Minor League Baseball at the Double-A level or below to draw 400,000 fans for 14 consecutive seasons. The Thunder's all-time attendance stands at more than six million.

More than 200 players and coaches have played for the Thunder and in the Major Leagues, including Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano, Dioner Navarro, Nomar Garciaparra and David Eckstein.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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