PRESS RELEASE – Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today the extension of the Player Development Contract with the Jackson Generals, their Double-A affiliate, the High Desert Mavericks, their Single-A Advanced affiliate, the Clinton LumberKings, their Single-A affiliate and Rookie Pulaski.
The Player Development Contracts, which would have run out at the end of the 2012 season, has been extended to cover the 2013-14 seasons. The Mariners had previously announced extensions with Single-A Short season Everett (2-year). The Mariners and their Triple-A affiliate the Tacoma Rainiers are currently in a four-year player development contract, guaranteeing the agreement through the end of the 2014 season.
“We are happy to continue our relationship with the great group of people associated with the each of our minor league affiliates for at least the next two years. It is terrific for our fans to have the opportunity to watch the future stars of the Seattle Mariners organization play before they reach the Major Leagues. My congratulations to all involved in helping this come together,” Zduriencik said.
The Mariners nine minor league affiliates put together one of the best seasons in club history, combining for a 496-406 (.550) record with six of the nine teams qualifying for postseason play. The organization led all Major League farm systems in wins (496) and winning percentage (.550). The Mariners 496 organizational wins set a new record for wins in a single season by any Major League farm system. Amongst all of the full-season minor league clubs, Mariners affiliates ranked in the top 5 in average, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. The Mariners catchers combined to lead the minor leagues with a .410 caught stealing percentage.
“We’re delighted to renew our affiliation with all of our clubs,” said Mariners Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. “Each individual city and fan-base have always been great supporters of our minor leaguers and the entire Mariners organization and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring them a great brand of baseball for years to come.”
The Generals and Mariners first entered into a Player Development contract prior to the start of the 2007 season. In the six years with the Mariners, the Generals have compiled a 412-424 record, including going 79-61 in 2012 and winning the Southern League North First Half Division title. The Generals are currently tied with Mobile 1-1 in the best-of-five game Southern League finals. Seattle is the Generals second parent club in the 13-year history of the franchise, replacing the Chicago Cubs after the 2007 season.
The Mavericks and Mariners have been affiliate partners since the 2007 season. In 2012 the Mavericks won both the first- and second-half South Division Championships and led the California League with an 83-57 record. High Desert lost to Lancaster in the California League South Division finals earlier this week. The Mavericks led the league in nearly every offensive category, while breaking franchise records in average, hits, RBI and runs scored. Seattle has been affiliated in the California League for the past 12 years. The Mariners California League affiliate has won the league championship twice during this stretch, in 2003 and 2006.
The Mariners enter into their third two-year Player Development Contract with the LumberKings. In 2012 the LumberKings won 48 games in the second half, the most wins in a half by any Clinton baseball team in 76 years. Overall the LumberKings finished the season third in the Midwest League West division and 6th in the Midwest League with a 71-67 record. The LumberKings defeated Beloit in the first-round of the playoffs, but lost to Wisconsin in the Midwest League West Division final. The Mariners are the 12th different parent club that the Clinton Baseball Club has had since it joined the Midwest League in 1956.
Pulaski and the Mariners, who have been affiliated since the 2008 season, also extended their Operating Agreement through the 2014 season. The Mariners finished in 5th place in the Appalachian League West with a 29-38 record in 2012. Baseball returned Pulaski in 2008 after not having an affiliate in 2007.
The AquaSox and Mariners, who announced their extension on July 5, have been affiliated with each other for 18 seasons. Everett became the Mariners affiliate in the Northwest League on September 12, 1994. Everett led the Northwest League with 28 wins in the first half, going 28-10 and went 18-20 over the final 38 games of the season. Overall Manager the AquaSox had a 46-30 record, which was tied for second-best in the Northwest League this season. Everett lost 0-2 to Vancouver in the first round of the Northwest League playoffs.