The Colorado Rockies and Asheville Tourists entered a new 4-year player development agreement Thursday, maintaining Asheville's place as the Rockies' low A affiliate. The Tourists have been, and will remain, Colorado's only Low A affiliate since the major league franchise was founded in 1993.
Asheville team president Brian DeWine called it "another great day in the history of the Asheville Toursits":
"By the end of this contract, the Tourists and Rockies will have entered their third decade working together. It has been a great relationship, capped once again this season with another trip to the South Atlantic League playoffs. Of course, none of this would be possible without the city of Asheville and all our fans who have supported the Tourists for so many years."
Rockies senior director of player development Jeff Bridich confirmed the deal's significance:
"The Colorado Rockies are absolutely thrilled to continue the Colorado-Asheville relationship. The Tourists have served as an important partner in the career development of countless players and staff members. As we near 20 years of working together, the Rockies and Tourists are proud of our past and eager to embrace a bright future."
Asheville is one of the oldest minor league affiliates in baseball, once acting as an affiliate for Branch Rickey's St. Louis Cardinals. The Tourists are currently playing the Rome Braves in the South Atlantic League playoffs.