The Nationals just announced a two-year deal with Single-A Auburn of the New York/Penn League. The Doubledays had been an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays for the last 10 seasons, and were with the Astros for 18 years before that. In fact, former Nationals manager Manny Acta managed there in the Astros' system.
The announcement ends the Nationals' 17-season affiliation with the Vermont Lake Monsters, who had been an affiliate of the Nationals and Expos since 1994.
The Doubledays are named after Abner Doubleday, the Civil War general who has been called the inventor of baseball. The team was a Blue Jays affiliate at the same time as Triple-A Syracuse, which is now the Nationals' top minor league team. Auburn is only 35 miles from Syracuse, which makes for easier travel for the Nationals' scouts.
We are delighted to add Auburn to the Nationals' family," team president Stan Kasten said in a release. "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."