Report: Nats in Rochester on 10-year deal, but Richmond still in play – Byron Kerr

Two and a half years ago, the Nationals agreed to a two-year deal to have their Triple-A team play out of Fresno, Calif., after they lost their affiliation deal with Syracuse to the Mets. But now the Nationals have agreed to move to Rochester, N.Y., for what is reported to be a long-term affiliation.

Kevin Reichard, founder and publisher of the Ballpark Digest, appearing on ESPN 95.7 FM Rochester on Friday, said Major League Baseball is looking for longer deals for each of its affiliates.

“(It’s a) 10-year deal. These are long-term commitments. For one thing, they are not affiliations. The Red Wings will become a licensee of Major League Baseball subject to all its rules, whims and guiding principles. So the national association will die.”

Reichard reported that the Nats would have preferred to move to Richmond, Va., but in the end, the ballpark was not up to par for hosting a Triple-A team.

“I think the Nationals really wanted to be in Richmond, not because of the ballpark, and you are right, it is a concrete monstrosity falling down,” Reichard told Mike Danger and Gene Battaglia on ESPN Rochester. “There’s plans to build a new one. The Nationals were probably thinking, ‘Boy, Richmond down the road, what a great situation that would be,’ both in terms of player access and team marketing.”

Reichard said the ballpark facility situation favored Rochester. And if MLB allowed the Nats to relocate…

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