Oct 22, 2012 4:53 PM by Q2 Sports
BILLINGS - The National League Cincinnati Reds and Billings Mustangs on Monday announced the signing of a two-year extension of their working relationship through the 2016 season. The clubs' current player development contract is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2014.
"The entire Cincinnati Reds organization is ecstatic to announce that we are extending our PDC with the Billings Mustangs," said Reds Assistant Director of Player Development, Jeff Graupe. "This has been a tremendously productive relationship for several decades and the City of Billings has long been an important part of the development of future Major League players. Billings is a great place for our young players to begin their careers as the combination of fan excitement, front office support and host family hospitality provides an excellent environment for a player to begin his journey towards the Major Leagues."
The Mustangs and Reds have been affiliated since 1974, one of the longest active partnerships in professional baseball. Many players who starred at the Major League level began their respective careers in Billings, including Tom Browning, Paul O'Neill, Rob Dibble, Ron Oester, Trevor Hoffman, Reggie Sanders, Aaron Boone, BJ Ryan, Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns. More recently, current Reds players Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier, Sam LeCure and Logan Ondrusek all wore a Mustangs uniform.
"We are thrilled to extend our working relationship with the Cincinnati Reds," commented Gary Roller, Mustangs General Manager. "Looking ahead, we'll celebrate our 40th consecutive season as a Reds affiliate in 2013, and we couldn't be more pleased or more proud. Our partnership is one of the longest running affiliations in professional baseball and has produced eight Pioneer League Championships and numerous players who have gone on to play at the Major League level. We feel fortunate to be a member of the Reds extended family and look forward to many shared successes over the next four years."
Cincinnati's other short-season affiliate is the Arizona League Reds. The Dayton Dragons of the Midwest League and Bakersfield Blaze of the California League are the Reds Class A affiliates. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Southern League) is the AA affiliate, and the Louisville Bats of the International League is the Class AAA affiliate.