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Nationals Reach Four-Year Deal With Triple-A Affiliate

December 18, 2013

The Washington Nationals reached a four-year agreement Dec. 18 to keep their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.

The initial partnership began five years ago, and the Chiefs have posted a 354-361 record since working with the Nationals' organization.

Several of the Nationals' core players have also come through Syracuse, including shortstop Ian Desmond, lefty Ross Detwiler, left fielder Bryce Harper, utility player Tyler Moore, second baseman Anthony Rendon and reliever Drew Storen. 

Top Nationals pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann also played for Syracuse.

"This is the first [player development contract] that we have signed with an affiliate in excess of two years," Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said at a press conference, "and it speaks to how much the Nationals organization values the Chiefs and the Syracuse community. In a sports-centric town like Syracuse, the Chiefs are a community pillar and we are proud to be aligned with both the town and the team."

The move also makes sense for the Nationals logistically, as Syracuse is about 250 miles north of Washington's Double-A affiliate Harrisburg. The Chiefs, who compete in the International League, are also a solid draw for their 11,071-seat NBT Bank Stadium.

"The rebuilding of this organization is founded on developing and nurturing partnerships," Syracuse Chiefs president Bill Dutch said in a statement. "The Nationals have shown themselves to be a successful organization and a fantastic partner, and the Chiefs are thrilled to continue the relationship with them."