Nats sign a two-year deal with the Auburn Doubledays

The Nats announced a two-year Player Development Contract deal with the Auburn Doubledays of the short-season Single-A New York-Penn League.

In the process, the Nats have compacted the geographical footprint of its affiliates. By partnering with Auburn, the Nationals’ NY-P League affiliate is now closer to the Nation’s Capital, and just 35 miles west of Syracuse, the Nationals’ Triple-A International League affiliate.

“We are delighted to add Auburn to the Nationals’ family,” said Kasten. “This agreement again narrows the footprint of our Minor League system, and starting next summer, Auburn and the Doubledays’ fan base will get their first glimpse at the rewards reaped from both our scouting and player development systems.”

The Doubledays currently play in 2,706-seat Falcon Park, which opened 1995 and includes arguably the best home clubhouse in the NY-P League. The team is named after Abner Doubleday, the Civil War general and Auburn, NY native who has often been credited with inventing the game of baseball.

“We are excited to join the Nationals’ family of affiliates,” said Doubledays CEO Tom Ganey.  “We look forward to working with the minor league staff in Washington and once again teaming up with our neighbors in Syracuse to develop the next generation of Major League players.”

The Doubledays–whose run of six consecutive Pinckney Division titles (2002-07) was capped by a NY-P League championship in 2007–recently ended a working relationship with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Luis Gonzalez, Aaron Hill, Kenny Lofton and Rick Dempsey are among those who enjoyed playing stints in Auburn during their minor-league careers.

The Nationals’ seven affiliates went 384-381 (.502) this season to register their third consecutive winning campaign. Washington’s affiliates went 380-378 (.501) in 2009, and 432-405 (.516) in 2008. Last week, the Single-A Potomac Nationals won their second Carolina League championship in three years. In the last month, the Nationals renewed their affiliations with the Syracuse Chiefs, Harrisburg Senators (Double-A Eastern League) and Potomac.

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