The Mariners signed a two-year player development with the Arkansas Travelers of the Class AA Texas League, starting next season.
The Mariners will have a new affiliate at the Class AA level next season. The organization signed a two-year player development contract with the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League.
“The Mariners look forward to working closely with our new partner, the Arkansas Travelers,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “It is a franchise with great fans, a great staff and a great ballpark, as well as a long and storied history in professional baseball, dating back to 1901. Both organizations are committed to the community, good baseball and an entertaining ballpark experience.”
Dipoto is familiar with the affiliate having worked the Travelers during his time as general manager of the Angels. Arkansas had been an Angels affiliate since 2001.
“The Travelers are excited to have this opportunity to start a new relationship with the Seattle Mariners,” Travelers team president Russ Meeks said. “This also brings an opportunity to again work with Jerry Dipoto and his staff. We have a mutual understanding of our goals and objectives in the development of players at the Double-A level. We believe this is a great opportunity for our loyal Travelers fans.”
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The move came after the Mariners left their affiliate in Jackson, Tenn., after winning the Southern League title this season. The Generals franchise signed a four-year player development contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. After spending the last 10 seasons in the Southern League, Seattle returns to the Texas League for its Class AA affiliate. The Mariners spent six seasons (2001-2006) with the San Antonio Missions.
“The Mariners have a commitment to a strong minor league system, and value the best possible environment for our prospects to develop,” said director of player development Andy McKay. “We will have that environment with the Arkansas Travelers.”
It was an outstanding season for the Mariners” affiliates in terms of team success. Their seven minor league affiliates combined for a 451-314 record (.590), the best winning percentage in baseball. All seven teams had winning records and qualified for their league playoffs.