Affiliation Merry Go Round [Update: Nats switch from Vermont to Auburn]

[Update: Nats sign two-year deal with Auburn] A look at the relative calm of the biennial affiliate dance

Thankfully, the Washington Nationals farm system appears to staying mostly the same this offseason, signing two-year extensions for Syracuse and Harrisburg and another four-year extension for Potomac. Hagerstown is widely expected to renew for another two years, particularly after the Nationals reportedly helped broker a deal for a local ownership group to purchase the Suns.

There is, however, one notable exception: The Vermont Lake Monsters.

Earlier this week, the Blue Jays officially pulled the plug on its relationship with the Auburn Doubledays, a move that had been telegraphed when it was announced that manager Dennis Holmberg would be managing Toronto’s re-entry into the Appalachian League in Bluefield, a team that had severed the longest-standing affiliation (53 years) in baseball when the Orioles cut ties in late August.

How does that relate to Vermont? Quite simply, with the Washington Nationals unhappy with the well-known problems with Centennial Field it’s quite possible that a move to Auburn, which is three hours closer to DC and less than 30 miles from Syracuse, could be on tap. It would certainly fit the tendency for consolidation along the I-81 corridor.

Details to come, as this is a story we’re watching…

UPDATE: This story was in the can waiting to be published before this tweet came across the Twitterverse.