The Orioles announced today that they’ve extended their working agreements with their five minor league affiliates through the 2020 season.
Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie, high Single-A Frederick, low Single-A Delmarva and short-season Single-A Aberdeen will remain part of the Orioles’ system for at least two more years.
Perhaps most noteworthy is the deal with Norfolk, since the Nationals no longer will have Syracuse as their Triple-A affiliate beyond 2018 and speculation increased that they’d like to move into the area.
“We look forward to continuing our association with each of these clubs and are very pleased with the strong working relationship we have built over the years,” executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a statement
“It’s mutually beneficial to have all of our affiliates located in the Mid-Atlantic region, allowing our fans an opportunity to see the Orioles stars of the future in their own backyard before they join the major league club. Each organization has proven to be an outstanding fit for the Orioles and will continue to help us build a championship club and expand the development of our players.”
The Tides have been an Orioles affiliate since 2007, the Baysox since 1993, the Keys since 1989, the Shorebirds since 1997 and the IronBirds since 2002.
The Orioles have played six exhibition games at Harbor Park in Norfolk, facing the Nationals in 2007 and 2009 and the Tides in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
“We are pleased to have long-running relationships with each of our affiliates, including many that have spanned decades,” executive vice president John Angelos added in the statement.
“Working with Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill Ripken in Aberdeen, with Ken Young in Norfolk, Bowie, and Frederick, and with Tom Volpe and Pat Filippone in Delmarva has been a tremendous experience, and we thank each of them for providing fan-friendly experiences for baseball fans within our shared market.”
While we’re down on the farm, first-round pick Grayson Rodriguez made his second professional start today in the Gulf Coast League and tossed two scoreless innings. He walked one batter and struck out two.