The Rainiers have been a Mariners affiliate since the 1995 season. The current player development contract with Tacoma was set to expire after the season.
While many affiliates and Major League franchises have shifted relationships in the Pacific Coast League for a variety of reasons, the Mariners and the Tacoma Rainiers will make it 25 straight years together in 2019 and beyond.
On Tuesday, the Mariners announced that they had agreed to an extension of their player development contract with the Rainiers to cover the 2019-2022 seasons. The current player development contract with Tacoma was set to expire after the season.
“The Mariners are excited to be able to extend our relationship with the Rainiers,” Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay said in a statement. “The Rainiers have consistently demonstrated their commitment to providing the best possible environment for our prospects to develop as well as providing an opportunity for baseball fans in the Pacific Northwest to meet the next generation of Mariners.”
The Rainiers became the Mariners’ Class AAA affiliate before the 1995 season. In the 24 seasons with the Mariners, the Rainiers have a 1,741-1,690 (.507) record, Tacoma has won five division titles (2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016), three conference championships (2001, 2005, 2010) and two Pacific Coast League Championships (2001, 2010) in that time. Rainiers players and field staff have also accumulated numerous awards over the course of the affiliation, including 45 mid-season all-star selections, one PCL pitcher of the year, two PCL rookies of the year and three PCL managers of the year.
“The relationship between the Mariners and the Rainiers has been a staple of baseball in the Pacific Northwest since 1995,” general manager Jerry Dipoto in a statement. “While we are two franchises, we remain one baseball family and couldn’t be more thankful for our terrific partners in Tacoma. We fully believe this is simply the next chapter in what will soon be a quarter century of tradition.”
This season, the Rainiers finished 66-73, finishing third in the PCL Pacific North Division.
“This has always been a great relationship,” Tacoma Rainiers owner Mikal Thomsen said. “Our fans in Tacoma and I are all Mariners fans, so it is a natural thing to follow players on both teams from the fan standpoint. On the business side, the Mariners — to a person and as an organization — have been great to work with, and we look forward to maintaining this affiliation far into the future.”