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Blue Jays and Fisher Cats extend player development contract through 2016

Former Fisher Cat Ryan Goins.
Former Fisher Cat Ryan Goins.
Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

The Blue Jays' official Twitter account announced Tuesday morning that the club and their double-A affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats have extended their player development contract (PDC) through the 2016 season. This is a two-year extension to the previous contract, which was due to expire at the end of 2014.

After a long affiliation with the Knoxville (then later Tennessee) Smokies, the Blue Jays moved their double-A club to New Haven in 2003, and followed the team's move from New Haven to Manchester, New Hampshire for the 2004 season and have been there ever since. Since affiliation, the New Haven Ravens / New Hampshire Fisher Cats club has finished in first place three times and have made the playoffs four times, winning the Eastern League championship in 2004 and 2011. The club was in last place in 2012 with a 61-81 record, but was within sight of the playoffs this season despite another sub-.500 record at 68-72.

As far as I know, the folks in Toronto and Manchester were very happy with their arrangement, saying so publicly even when there were rumours of an Eastern League team possibly landing in Ottawa. And despite being primarily Red Sox fans, the games are generally well attended by locals.

The PDCs signed with the triple-A Bisons and short-season A Candians were also extended through 2016 earlier this season. The remaining two affiliates not owed by the parent club, the single-A Lansing Lugnuts, and the rookie level Bluefield Blue Jays, have PDCs signed through 2014, so look for potential extensions coming up this offseason.