PRESS RELEASE – The Boston Red Sox and Portland (ME) Sea Dogs today announced the extension of their Player Development Contract (PDC) for an additional two years. The extension keeps the Red Sox Eastern League Double-A affiliate in Portland through the 2014 season.
Red Sox Director of Player Development Mike Hazen and Sea Dogs President Charlie Eshbach made the announcement. “We are delighted to extend our relationship with the Portland Sea Dogs for an additional two seasons,” said Hazen. “We are extremely fortunate to work with some of the best people in minor league baseball in Portland. The Burke family, Charlie Eshbach, and the entire Sea Dogs organization always go above and beyond to provide support to our players and staff. With the Sea Dogs, our minor leaguers experience the ideal environment to succeed and grow.”
The Red Sox originally entered into an agreement with the Sea Dogs following the 2002 season when Portland changed affiliations from the Florida Marlins. At that time, a likeness of Fenway Park’s Green Monster was erected at Hadlock Field and the skyboxes were renamed in honor of former Red Sox legendary hitters. The PDC was last extended with a four-year extension through 2012 in July 2007.
“We are thrilled with the extension of the PDC with the Boston Red Sox,” said Eshbach. “The caliber of the people we work with is for us the most important part of the affiliation. Working with the Red Sox ownership, Mike Hazen, the coaching staffs, and the entire Red Sox organization has been a wonderful experience. We are grateful that our fans will continue to see exceptional talent in Portland as the players develop their skills on their way to Fenway Park.”
The Sea Dogs have advanced to postseason play four times in eight seasons since becoming an affiliate of the Red Sox, including their first Eastern League Championship in 2006. Sea Dogs alumni currently with the Red Sox include Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Jed Lowrie, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis.
Portland is one of Boston’s six minor league affiliates, joining Triple-A Pawtucket (International League), Single-A Salem (Carolina League), Single-A Greenville (South Atlantic League), Short-A Lowell (New York-Penn League) and Rookie Gulf Coast Red Sox (Gulf Coast League).
Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish is scheduled as the featured guest at the 18th Annual Portland Sea Dogs Hot Stove Dinner tonight at the Marriott Hotel at Sable Oaks in South Portland, ME. Kalish, who played for the Sea Dogs in 2009 and 2010, was awarded the Harry Agganis Red Sox Rookie of the Year Award by the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America after hitting .252 with four home runs and 24 RBI over 53 games in his Major League debut with the Red Sox in 2010.