The Baltimore Orioles have announced two-year player development contract (PDC) extensions with five affiliates, with all of the agreements now running through the 2020 season. The clubs that have extended their affiliations with the Orioles are the Norfolk Tides (Class AAA; International League), Bowie Baysox (Class AA; Eastern League), Frederick Keys (High A; Carolina League), Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A; Sally League), and Aberdeen IronBirds (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).
“We look forward to continuing our association with each of these clubs and are very pleased with the strong working relationship we have built over the years,” said Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette. “It’s mutually beneficial to have all of our affiliates located in the Mid-Atlantic region, allowing our fans an opportunity to see the Orioles stars of the future in their own backyard before they join the Major League club. Each organization has proven to be an outstanding fit for the Orioles and will continue to help us build a championship club and expand the development of our players.”
“We are pleased to have long-running relationships with each of our affiliates, including many that have spanned decades,” added Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos. “Working with Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill Ripken in Aberdeen, with Ken Young in Norfolk, Bowie, and Frederick, and with Tom Volpe and Pat Filippone in Delmarva has been a tremendous experience, and we thank each of them for providing fan-friendly experiences for baseball fans within our shared market.”
Norfolk has served as the top affiliate of the Orioles since the beginning of the 2007 season. Over the first 12 years of the partnership, a total of 196 players have suited up for both Norfolk and Baltimore, including 22 this season. The Orioles have also played six exhibition games at Harbor Park, playing the Washington Nationals in 2007 and 2009 before squaring off with the Tides in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
“Extending our relationship with the Baltimore Orioles was a no-brainer” said Tides President Ken Young. “Our partnership with Baltimore has been successful not only on the field of play, but in the Hampton Roads community as well. We’re thrilled to continue to be the top affiliate of such an outstanding organization.”
The Baysox, the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate since 1993, play their home games at Prince George’s Stadium.
The Keys are currently in their final season of a four-year PDC with the Orioles that went into effect following the 2014 season. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, Frederick has been an Orioles affiliate, the longest-tenured relationship that any Carolina League team has with its parent organization. To go along with this, the Keys are the only club in the league which has just one affiliate in the history of the franchise.
“Since the beginning of Frederick Keys baseball, the organization has enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the parent club in Baltimore,” said Keys General Manager Dave Ziedelis. “Frederick has and will always be a proud member of Birdland and we are excited for this fruitful partnership to continue.”
Baltimore has been affiliated with Delmarva since 1997, the second year of the Shorebirds’ existence. In those 22 seasons, Delmarva has captured a pair of South Atlantic League championships (1997, 2000) and hosted two SAL All-Star Games (1999, 2011). The Shorebirds have sent over 70 former players from Perdue Stadium to Camden Yards, from perennial All-Stars like Zach Britton and Manny Machado to Oriole fan favorites like Dylan Bundy and Trey Mancini.
“We at the Delmarva Shorebirds are thrilled to continue this long-standing partnership with the Baltimore Orioles,” said Shorebirds General Manager Chris Bitters. “Salisbury and the entire Delmarva region are part of the heart of Birdland, and we look forward to hosting and developing the next generation of Orioles for years to come.”
The IronBirds play their home games at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, and have been an O’s affiliate since 2002.
You can read more about the current state of affiliations on our Affiliate Dance page. We expect a number of affiliations to be renewed in coming weeks, but there are always intriguing openings at every level of baseball. As you can see on the Affiliate Dance page, MLB and MiLB teams can renew their existing affiliations at any point. At the end of the 2018 season, teams can file to search new affiliation options, so there’s always a shuffle of sorts at the end of the year.