Nationals, Harrisburg Extend PDC to 2020

One down, four to go…

While the focus for most of this year will be the fate of Washington’s AAA affiliate, the Nats officially re-signed its Player Development Contract (PDC) with Harrisburg for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Officially, the remaining affiliates – Auburn, Hagerstown, Potomac, and Syracuse – are all signed through this season. Despite their stadium woes, it’s quite likely both full-season “A” teams will renew for another two years.

The relationship between Auburn and Washington is fairly short (since 2010). With teams in Batavia and State College with no strong ties to a major-league affiliate, it’s possible that a switch could happen – especially if the Nats value proximity to its other affiliates, as the use of the team for rehab assignments for AA and AAA players suggests.

As aforementioned, the Nats will need to find a new home for their AAA team with the Mets’ purchase of Syracuse, and as of now, the best bet is on Las Vegas – the current Mets affiliate and typically the last AAA team standing in the biannual affiliate dance.

This is primarily because East Coast teams despise having affiliates in the Pacific Coast League due to the logistics of getting a player to the big club on short notice. It’s worth noting that Nashville, Oakland’s AAA affiliate and the team furthest to the east of the available PCL teams for 2019 and beyond, is up for grabs.

Otherwise, just five of the 14 teams in the International League have expiring PDCs. You can probably exclude Toledo and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre right off the bat, and perhaps even Norfolk; as much as Washington fans would love to stick it to Baltimore, it would be a major shock if the Nats were able to disrupt that partnership.

That leaves Buffalo (currently affiliated with Toronto) and Rochester (Minnesota) as potential targets for Washington for the next two seasons. To matters worse, or perhaps more interesting, there’s some drama regarding the stadium lease in Rochester which naturally boils down to money.

Presuming the folks who follow this stuff full-time (and believe it’s a scare tactic by the I.L.) are right, then it would seem that Rochester might be the best target for the Nationals.

P.S. Any scenario with Harrisburg becoming the new AAA affiliate involves a lot of hoops to jump through as noted by Richmond.com, which saw its local team do the opposite in 2010. Sorry, kids.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

10 thoughts on “Nationals, Harrisburg Extend PDC to 2020”

  1. Sounds good. Baseball and country music.
    Batavia has old Germanic roots do good eats around town ?

    Freezing rain 40 F. Not dog walking weather. Let’s put the Johnny Carson swami cap on and predict Harrisburg
    April camp breaking roster. Lol
    Sundberg, Jones, Perez, Norfork, Wiseman , Robles ( toss the tomatoes at me lol), Keller, Hernandez , Sagdal , Masters , Abreau, Gamache , Ward,
    Gushue, Lowry,
    Crownover, Fleck, Nick Lee, Cordero, Brinley, Borne, Jefry-Rod, Wirkin for WeekendE, Dragmire, Ames, Mapes ( rehab), Silvestre , …
    Time for more coffee, Luke.
    Camp cannot open soon enough !!

    1. An open door for Spencer Kieboom
      Read seemed oddly bulked up when I first saw him in AA.
      Rizzo still has to add another lefty swinging catcher to farm.

    1. Not good under any circumstances, but particularly for a guy who still needs a lot of work defensively.

      Curious–and sad–that the Nats have had two higher-profile Latin players busted in two years. Once is an accident, two’s a trend, and a worrisome one. Perhaps it’s time to invest in some roving instructors with Latin backgrounds, or something.

  2. Romero and Luis Garcia were featured on FanGraphs’ extended honorable mention/ones to watch list: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/heres-some-lower-ranked-prospects-we-love/

    They call Romero an impact reliever, which is interesting… Given the gaps in the Nats rotation, I’d have to think that Romero is projected to be a starter until he proves he can’t. Only then does Romero get shifted to the pen. Maybe, the Nats promote Romero to the bullpen in September, if say Doolittle gets injured. But I’d fully expect him to be starting next season.

    1. There were too many other good starting pitchers still on the board for the Nats to have drafted Romero as a reliever. My feeling was that there were too many other good starting pitchers still on the board for the Nats to have drafted the biggest knucklehead of them all, but that’s another story.

      With Garcia, I think his bat will tell most of the story of how far he goes. He already seems pretty solid defensively. It will be interesting to see if Garcia and/or Antuna get pushed to Hagerstown this year.

  3. Zero chance that State College loses the Cardinals.
    State College dumped Pittsburgh because they “didn’t win enough” and brought the Cardinals back (who never wanted to leave anyway) and they win a lot.
    The Spikes believe that their crowds are heavily influenced by winning ( not sure I agree, but it’s their market) and aren’t going to leave a team that drafts college players heavily, sends them top picks and keeps them there to help them try to win.
    Washington isn’t going to do any of that.
    Been to both Auburn and Batavia’s facilities, Auburn’s is nicer all around- I wouldn’t leave Auburn for Batavia unless forced to.

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