The Nationals have extended their relationship with the Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League through 2018, signing a four-year Player Development Contract deal that begins in 2015.

The Nats have been associated with Harrisburg since they came to Washington, but the relationship reaches back more than 20 years, to their Montreal Expos roots.

“From a baseball standpoint, the Senators have served as a fantastic breeding ground for some of our organization’s most talented players, and helped launch the major league careers of many,” GM Mike Rizzo said. “The Senators connection in our clubhouse runs deep.”

More than 20 players on the current 40-man roster played in Harrisburg during their ascension, including Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jordan Zimmermann.

(Where are your regular Nats writers, you ask? Kilgore is in Arizona talking to Matt somebody-or-other; James is out of the country. They’ll be back on the case soon.)