Mariners extend contract with AquaSox through 2014

Mariners extend contract with AquaSox through 2014

Mariners extend contract with AquaSox through 2014
SEATTLE -- A long-going relationship with the Everett AquaSox was extended another two seasons on Thursday as the Mariners signed a new contract with their Class A Minor League team in the Northwest League.

General manager Jack Zduriencik and director of player development Chris Gwynn announced the contract extension through the 2014 season. The current player development contract with Everett was set to expire at the end of this year.

The AquaSox have been partners with the Mariners for 18 seasons as their Short A affiliate.

"It is wonderful for the Seattle Mariners organization to have a Northwest affiliate so close to Seattle," Zduriencik said. "We have a great relationship with the Everett AquaSox ownership and everyone involved with the entire operation. It is great that the AquaSox and the Mariners can share such a strong fan base in the Northwest. All of this makes for a great marriage, and we look forward to working closely with the AquaSox franchise to develop Major League talent."

The AquaSox play their home games at Everett Memorial Stadium, 29 miles north of Safeco Field. Current Mariners Felix Hernandez, Michael Saunders, Tom Wilhelmsen, Miguel Olivo, Shawn Kelley and Stephen Pryor all played in Everett.

This year's first-round Draft pick, catcher Mike Zunino, will be joining the AquaSox next week. The current Everett roster already includes eight 2012 Draft picks: infielders Patrick Kivlehan (4th round), Chris Taylor (5th), Taylor Ard (7th) and Jamodrick McGruder (9th), outfielder Michael Faulkner (12th) and pitchers Dominic Leone (16th), Scott DeCecco (21st) and Mark Bordonaro (25th).

"We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Mariners," said AquaSox executive vice president Tom Backemeyer. "We could not be affiliated with a better organization, and we are excited that future Mariners will continue to get their start here in Everett.

"The Mariners are a first-class organization and have been a great partner over the years. We are looking forward to working with them over the next two years and beyond."

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.