Nats' Player Development Contract Overview
Zephyrs

Posted Aug 28, 2006


With the off-season rapidly approaching, teams around the Major and Minor Leagues have decisions to make. Parent clubs are looking to renew or find new affiliates while Minor League clubs are looking for a big league team to hook up with. CapitolDugout.com will now look at the status of the Nationals' Player Development Contracts.

New Orleans Zephyrs. For the Nationals, it makes very little sense, logistically or for any other reason, to keep their Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans. Having the team at such a distance from their parent club has not only frustrated Nationals' fans, but appears to have done the same to the organization. Reports say that Washington will take a long look at moving the Triple-A squad to Richmond, Virginia if the Braves do decide to go elsewhere. Another enticing location will be Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where they would compete with the Baltimore Orioles for the new Player Development Contract. Either location would be a vast improvement in proximity to the parent club, Nationals.

Harrisburg Senators. (Signed through 2010)

Potomac Nationals. Although the player development contract will be up after the 2006 season comes to a close, there seems to be very little reason for the Nationals to pull their team out of Potomac, where they are able to draw local Washington fans to see the organization's potential stars of tomorrow. The odds are that they will stay put.

Savannah Sand Gnats. It seems that the Savannah Sand Gnats and the Nationals have had a pleasant business relationship for the past two years, but year after year, there tends to be an abundance of affiliation shuffling in the South Atlantic League. The bottom line is that while they have little reason to change Low-A affiliates, there are no guarantees. Possible available affiliates will include the Asheville Tourists, Columbus Catfish, Delmarva Shorebirds, Hagerstown Suns, Hickory Crawdads, and the Kannapolis Intimidators. A likely landing point for a new Washington affiliate could be Hagerstown.

Vermont Lake Monsters. The word is that, even after a name change and seeming to find a long term home in Vermont, the Nationals are looking for a new home for their short-season A-ball affiliate. If they choose not to return to Vermont for the 2007 season, they have quite a few options to choose from. The short list of possible new homes for the team includes Jamestown, Batavia, State College, Lowell, Mahoning Valley, and Williamsport. It appears that unlikely that the Pirates will be parting with their fairly nearby Williamsport affiliate, and the same goes for Boston's affiliate, the Lowell Spinners and Cleveland's Mahoning Valley Scrappers. A good chance remains that the Nationals may stay put in Vermont, but the more likely landing points appear to be Jamestown or Batavia.


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