The Yankees' player-development contract with Double-A Trenton was not set to expire for another two years, but that didn't stop New York from working out an eight-year extension with their Eastern League affiliate that will run through the 2022 season.
It's a deal may that very well be the first of its kind. Teams are allowed to extend player-development contracts with their current affiliate in two- or four-year increments. So in order to work out an eight-year deal, the Yankees and Thunder signed two successor contracts—with the second one postdated from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2022.
"We are both honored and humbled to remain part of the Yankee family for the next ten years," Thunder president Joe Finley said in a press release. "We are proud to be an integral part of the premier player development system in all of major league baseball and look forward to remaining in that role for many years to come."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman shouldn't have to worry about negotiating any PDCs for awhile. New York owns both its Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (with Mandalay Baseball) and high Class A Tampa affiliates. Their low Class A Charleston club is owned by Marv Goldklang, who owns a minority stake in the Yankees. New York previously owned its short-season Staten Island club before selling the team to a Connecticut-based partnership of financial investors who won't be parting ways with the hometown Yankees.
In other affiliation news, the Mets signed a four-year extension with Double-A Binghamton (Eastern) through the 2016 season. The two teams have been together since 1992. The Akron Aeros, who have been with the Indians since debuting in 1989, remain the only unsigned Eastern League team.
No Double-A team has changed affiliation since 2009, and that streak appears likely to continue this year. Three Southern League teams have contracts set to expire after this season: Huntsville (Brewers), Jackson (Mariners) and Jacksonville (Marlins). Arkansas (Angels) is the only franchise with an expiring contract in the Texas League, which has not had a team change affiliations since 2007.
See here for an update on every team's affiliation status.