The Washington Nationals today announced the signing of a two-year Player Development Contract extension (which begins in 2015) with the Hagerstown Suns of the Single-A South Atlantic League through the 2016 season. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Nationals Vice President of Player Personnel Bob Boone, Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Development Doug Harris and Director of Player Development Mark Scialabba made the joint announcement.
"We are happy to extend our Player Development Contract with the Hagerstown Suns, continuing our seven-plus year relationship with them," Rizzo said. "Some of the organization's brightest talents have spent significant time learning the game with Hagerstown, before advancing further through our system. We're glad to continue our working relationship."
"We are in the baseball business because we love the game, have a great relationship with the Washington Nationals and respect their young kids in the minor league system very much," Hagerstown Suns' President Bruce Quinn said. "We want to thank the Nationals for extending our Player Development Contract."
"Hagerstown has been a great partner of ours," Harris added. "From Jordan Zimmermann through Bryce Harper and Steven Souza Jr., we've been honored to have our players work their way through the South Atlantic League with the Suns."
The Nationals began their relationship with Hagerstown in 2007 after ending a six-year run with the Savannah Sand Gnats. The Suns are 530-501 (.514) since aligning with the Nationals, including three consecutive 80+ win seasons and three straight playoff berths (2012-14). In that span, Suns fans have enjoyed exposure to the big league talents of, among others, Aaron Barrett, Bryce Harper, Taylor Jordan, Jeff Kobernus, Tyler Moore, Jhonatan Solano, Steven Souza Jr., Drew Storen, Stephen Strasburg, Michael Taylor, and Jordan Zimmermann.
The current version of the Hagerstown Suns started in 1992 as an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays and has been a member of the South Atlantic League for all 22 seasons. The Suns reside in the South Atlantic League's seven-team Northern Division with Delmarva, Greensboro, Hickory, Kannapolis, Lakewood and West Virginia.
The Nationals' Single-A affiliate is just 70 miles north of Washington, D.C., allowing for convenient travel between the Major League club and the affiliate.