The Washington Nationals today announced the signing of a four-year Player Development Contract extension (which begins in 2015) with the Harrisburg Senators of the Double-A Eastern League through the 2018 season. Nationals President & General Manager Mike Rizzo, Nationals Vice President/Player Personnel Bob Boone, Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Player Development Doug Harris and Director of Player Development Mark Scialabba made the joint announcement.
"Our partnership with Harrisburg and the Senators dates back more than 20 years, and it is with that history in mind that we are excited to sign on with them for another four," Rizzo said. "Harrisburg is an Eastern League gem, and we are proud to continue our association with a team, and a town, that have such rich baseball histories.
"From a baseball standpoint, the Senators have served as a fantastic breeding ground for some of our organization's most talented players, and helped launch the Major League careers of many. The Senators connection in our clubhouse runs deep."
The Nationals and Senators have been partners for each of the Nationals' nine seasons in Washington, but their relationship extends back to the organization's days as the Montreal Expos, making the upcoming season their 24th together.
"We are excited to extend our relationship with not only the organization, but the Harrisburg community has a whole," Harris said. "This agreement ensures that the long tradition of player development for this franchise will continue for years to come."
During their time with the Nationals/Expos, the Senators have been to the Eastern League finals nine times, and won five championship titles. Since the Nationals arrived in the District in 2005, the Senators have won the division twice, and have made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.
Over the past nine seasons, more than 50 players who have spent time in Harrisburg have gone on to the Major Leagues with the Washington Nationals. There are more than 20 players on the Nationals' current 40-man roster who played in Harrisburg during their ascension, including Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jordan Zimmermann.
Twice in the past four seasons the Senators have welcomed a former No. 1 pick in the First-Year Player Draft: Strasburg (No. 1 overall, 2009) in 2010 and Harper (No. 1 overall in 2010) in 2011.
"We are very pleased to announce this extension of our relationship with the Washington Nationals," said Harrisburg Senators President, Kevin Kulp. "They are a first-class organization from top to bottom and have placed not only great ballplayers on our team but also fine young men. We look forward to growing together in the years to come."