Houston Astros' former Triple-A affiliate signs agreement with Washington Nationals

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Jose Altuve keeps ball from his first career Triple-A hit

The former Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros will now serve as the stepping stone to the Majors for the Washington Nationals.

The Fresno Grizzlies announced that they have signed a two-season Player Development Contract with the National League East team.

"This is another thrilling new chapter for Fresno Grizzlies baseball- we can't wait for the Nationals to get on the ground in Central California and see everything this community has to offer," said Derek Franks, Fresno team president.

Just 2,796 miles separate Nationals Park and Chukchansi Park, home of the Grizzlies.

The Astros and the Grizzlies were partners for the past four seasons, with the latter serving as a breeding ground for current Houston stars.

The Astros separated from Fresno just days after the Grizzlies fell in the Pacific Coast League championship.

The separation sets the stage for a possible Astros affiliation closer to Houston.

RELATED: Houston Astros split from Fresno, look for new affiliation for 2019
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