The Nationals announced Tuesday that they’ve reached an agreement with the Fresno Grizzlies to serve as their new Triple-A affiliate. The newly agreed upon player development contract (PDC) is a two-year arrangement.
The Nats reportedly had interest in partnering with the Nashville Sounds, which would’ve been a much more favorable geographic and logistical arrangement for the organization. Instead, their top minor league affiliate will now be nearly 2800 miles from Nationals Park in Washington D.C.
Previously, the Nationals’ top affiliate had been located in Syracuse, though the Mets purchased the Chiefs last season in order to put an end to the sizable gap between their previous Triple-A affiliate, Las Vegas, and their home park.
The Nats were one of five teams — joined by the Astros, Rangers, Brewers and Athletics — vying for five affiliate spots as recently as this weekend. But with the Astros agreeing to a PDC with the Round Rock Express, the A’s teaming up with the Las Vegas 51s, the Brewers partnering with the San Antonio Missions and the Rangers just recently announcing a new PDC with the Nashville Sounds, the Nationals didn’t have much in the way of previously established alternatives.