KANSAS CITY -- The Brewers on Thursday extended their player development contract with their advanced rookie league affiliate in Helena, Mont., a two-year deal through 2014, and are nearing a similar agreement with advanced Class A Brevard County. The Brewers' other Class A club, the nearby Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, already have a PDC in place through 2016. But PDCs at Triple-A Nashville and Double-A Huntsville are set to expire in September, and assistant general manager Gord Ash indicated that the Brewers would monitor stadium developments in both cities before committing to extensions. There is more momentum in Nashville, where city officials last year identified three potential sites for a new ballpark.
"They have been working hard at it in Nashville," Ash said. The Helena Brewers have been a Milwaukee affiliate since 2003, after a previous relationship from 1985-2000. Current Brewers Ryan Braun, Mat Gamel and Jonathan Lucroy all began their professional baseball careers in Helena. "This has been a partnership that has lasted a very long time, and in our business that is a strong sign that you have a positive, respectful and mutually beneficial relationship," president and general manager Paul Fetz said in a statement released by the Brewers. "As our parent club, Milwaukee has always strived to send us their best ambassadors and we appreciate it." Helena's 2012 season begins Monday against Great Falls, the rookie affiliate of the White Sox.