Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Fresno Grizzlies have signed a two-year agreement to be the triple-A farm club of the Washington Nationals to replace the Houston Astros.
The Grizzlies new Play Development Contract (PDC) partner was billed as a “perennial playoff contender,” winning MLB’s National League East division four of the last six seasons, finishing no worse than second place from 2012-2017.
“This is another thrilling new chapter for Fresno Grizzlies baseball — we can’t wait for the Nationals to get on the ground in Central California and see everything this community has to offer,” said Derek Franks, Fresno Grizzlies team president. “Our new ownership group is continuing several upgrades to both the fan experience and baseball operations facets of Chukchansi Park that began during our previous PDC with Houston, including plans for a brand new playing surface in 2019. I believe the Washington Nationals will find this a comfortable place to cultivate all of their young talent, and will see early on how committed the fans of “Growlifornia’ are to baseball in the Central Valley,” continued Franks.
The Astros reached a player development agreement with the Round Rock Express, capping a four-year run with the Fresno Grizzlies that saw two playoff appearances and one National Championship in 2015.
“The Washington Nationals are excited to be partnering with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League,” said Washington Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “Fresno is committed to player development and we hope this partnership will continue to yield success for both clubs on the field and off.”
The Nationals had previously been affiliated with the Syracuse Chiefs of the Interntional League since 2009.