AquaSox, Mariners extend their affiliation through 2014

The Everett AquaSox and Seattle Mariners have agreed to a two-year extension of their player-development contract. The agreement now runs through the 2014 season.

The AquaSox have been a Class A minor-league affiliate of the Mariners since 1995.

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Mariners,” AquaSox executive vice president Tom Backemeyer said in a press release. “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.”

Over the years, many former AquaSox have gone on to play for Seattle, including current Mariners Felix Hernandez, Tom Wilhelmsen, Stephen Pryor and Michael Saunders.

On Tuesday, the Mariners announced that their first-round pick in the 2012 major-league draft, University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino, will start his professional career in Everett.

“It is wonderful for the Seattle Mariners organization to have a Northwest affiliate so close to Seattle,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in the release. “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.”

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