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Pirates extend Triple-A contract through 2020

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have agreed to a four-year player development contract extension with Triple-A Indianapolis, the club announced Tuesday morning, continuing a partnership that has already lasted more than a decade.

The extension is effective through the 2020 season, keeping the Pirates' top-level Minor Leaguers at Victory Field. Indianapolis has been Pittsburgh's Triple-A affiliate since 2005.

"We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the Indianapolis Indians, their terrific ownership, front-office staff and fans," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

The Indians have finished with a winning record seven times in 11 seasons while affiliated with the Pirates. They are the only team in the International League to post a winning record each of the last five years. Indianapolis has reached the postseason and won at least 80 games in three of the last four seasons.

Managed by Dean Treanor, Indianapolis went 83-61 last year, tied for the league's best record. The club swept Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the first round of the playoffs but lost to Columbus in the fifth game of the Governors' Cup championship series.

Over the last 10 years, Indianapolis has served as the last Minor League stop for players on their way to PNC Park. Andrew McCutchen spent parts of three seasons there from 2007-09 before getting called up to the Majors, and right-hander Gerrit Cole was there prior to his big league debut in 2013.

Last season, Indianapolis featured several of the Pirates' top prospects, including infielder Alen Hanson (No. 5) and catcher Elias Diaz (No. 14). Later in the year, No. 1 prospect Tyler Glasnow and first baseman Josh Bell (No. 3) joined Indianapolis.

"I could not be more pleased that we have extended our relationship with the Indians through the 2020 season," Pirates director of player development Larry Broadway said in a statement. "Indianapolis is a wonderful community, Victory Field is an outstanding ballpark and the entire Indians' staff is committed to making their operation the best in baseball. We look forward to building on this tremendous affiliate relationship over the next five years, and hopefully many more beyond that."

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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