The Hartford Yard Goats have yet to play a game, but their relationship with their parent club, the Colorado Rockies, has now been extended through the 2018 season, according to a release sent to media members Tuesday morning.
The Yard Goats, Colorado's Double-A affiliate, will begin their inaugural season in the Eastern League in April. Now, they'll be guaranteed at least two more seasons with the big league club beyond 2016 after the two sides extended their player development contract (PDC) on Tuesday.
"We are thrilled to extend our PDC with the Colorado Rockies," Yard Goats General Manager Tim Restall said in the release. "This relationship will continue to allow our fans to see the future stars of Major League Baseball nightly in Hartford at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The Rockies provide very talented players for our fans to watch, and are dedicated to our community programs which are so important to the Yard Goats organization."
Of course, the Yard Goats are going to have a few months' worth of delay before fans can actually see future big leaguers at Dunkin' Donuts Park; the team is set to take a 52-game road trip to begin the season as the stadium wraps up construction after continued delays. Obviously, that road trip has not fazed the Rockies.
Colorado figures to send an exciting group of prospects to the Nutmeg State, where it'll be the second consecutive year the Rockies have had an affiliate in Connecticut, after linking up with the New Britain Rock Cats last summer.
The Rockies also were affiliated with the New Haven Ravens from 1994 through 1998 before moving their Double-A team to North Carolina, and then Oklahoma, through 2014.
"The Colorado Rockies are extremely excited about extending and continuing our partnership with the Hartford Yard Goats," Rockies Senior Director of Player Development Zach Wilson said in the release. "The commitment both organizations have to each other plays an important role in the development of our players. We are thankful and honored to be associated with the Yard Goats and the City of Hartford and look forward to continuing to grow and cultivate our relationship and involvement with the Hartford community."
The Yard Goats will begin their season on the road on April 7, and as it's scheduled now, they won't return home to Hartford until May 31 when their ballpark should be completed. But for now, at least, Hartford and the Rockies both have found consistency with two more guaranteed years together.
Stay with Purple Row as we cover more about the Yard Goats and all of the other Rockies' minor league affiliates throughout the spring and on into the season.