The Nationals have extended their agreements with Triple-A Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg, as we discussed the last two days. And in a fan Q&A for his blog on MASNsports.com, general manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals are hoping to secure long-term agreements with their Single-A affiliates at Potomac and Hagerstown.
That's not surprising. Both are located close to Washington, and they make sense for the Nationals. But what about short-season Vermont and the Nationals' rookie-ball team in Viera, Fla.? Rizzo said the team is still trying to decide on those two.
I found that particularly interesting with Viera. If the Nationals are going to keep spring training there, wouldn't the rookie league affiliation be a no-brainer? Mark DeCotis of Florida Today (who is a great guy, by the way - always willing to open his home to reporters living out of their suitcases in spring training) reported earlier this month that the Nationals were looking at sharing a complex with the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., which would be closer to more teams in the Grapefruit League.
If things are in flux with the Nationals' Gulf Coast League affiliate, that could be why.
According to that report, if they broke their lease at Space Coast Stadium (which runs through 2017), the Nationals would be responsible for $780,000 in annual debt service for stadium improvements until 2013.