The Cincinnati Reds and Billings Mustangs have announced that they have extended their player development contract through the 2020 season. Mike Scherting of the Billings Gazette was the first that I saw with the news.

The Reds affiliation with the Mustangs was only through the end of the current season. But, what is easily the longest connection to one city/team/affiliate, has been extended another two seasons. That would put the two organizations together for 47 years through 2020. The next longest affiliation for the Reds and a minor league affiliate is the ones between both the Louisville Bats and the Dayton Dragons, both of which began in the year 2000.

Here’s what Jeff Graupe had to say at the press conference in Billings this afternoon.

“We couldn’t be happier to announce an extension with the Billings Mustangs. The experience that young players receive during their time in Billings is critical to our development philosophy and the sense of community and passion for the game allows us to grow players both on and off the field,” noted Reds Director of Player Development Jeff Graupe. “Our ownership group in Cincinnati has invested heavily in player development and 2018 is the first year we were able to establish what we believe to be the ideal affiliate structure. We would like to thank Dave Heller and Gary Roller for all that they do for the Reds and look forward to many more years together.”