The Arkansas Travelers Double-A Texas League baseball team has a new player development contract with the Seattle Mariners Major League team.
The contract covers the 2017 and 2018 seasons. It follows a deal the Travelers had with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 2001.
"The Travelers are excited to have this opportunity to start a new relationship with the Seattle Mariners," Travelers President Russ Meeks said in a news release. "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."
In 2016, the Mariners seven minor league affiliates. Jackson, the Mariners Double-A affiliate, won the Southern League championship, and the AZL Mariners won the Rookie Arizona League title, according to the Travelers.
"The Mariners look forward to working closely with our new partner, the Arkansas Travelers," Dipoto, the Mariners executive vice president and general manager, said in a news release. "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."
The Arkansas Travelers said 2016 marked its 51st consecutive season in the Texas League, making it the longest continuously running club in the league. The Travelers play at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.