Mariners bring Latin America presence together

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners are consolidating their Latin American developmental program into their new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic and will no longer field a team or operations in Venezuela, the club announced Monday.

Beginning with the 2015 season, the Mariners will field two teams in the Dominican Summer League, but they won't have a club in the Venezuelan Summer League.

The Mariners opened a new academy in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic last year. It is designed to house up to 80 players.

"The Mariners' player-development program in Latin America will be consolidated in our state-of-the-art facility in the Dominican Republic," said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik. "Our plan all along has been to centralize our efforts. By bringing our operation under one umbrella, we will be much more efficient and effective in the development of young players, who will all compete on our two teams in the Dominican Summer League.

"We will continue to be heavily invested in our scouting efforts throughout Latin American and particularly in Venezuela, where we have a great tradition and have experienced much success."

The Mariners were one of just five Major League clubs with a team still playing in the Venezuelan Summer League.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.