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Mariners extend arrangement with Everett

SEATTLE -- A 20-year relationship with the Everett AquaSox has been extended two more seasons as the Mariners agreed to a new contract Friday with their Short Season club in the Northwest League.

The AquaSox have been affiliated with the Mariners since 1994 and will open their new season Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium under Dave Valle, as the former Mariners catcher makes his managerial debut.

"It is wonderful for the Mariners organization to have a Northwest affiliate so close to Seattle," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said, noting Everett is less than 30 miles north of Safeco Field. "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. We enjoy working closely with the AquaSox franchise as we develop Major League talent."

This year's club will include a number of players taken in the First-Year Player Draft just last week, including right-handed pitchers Dan Altavilla (fifth round), Kody Kerski (eighth) and Vinny Nittoli (25th), catcher Adam Martin (10th) and infielders Chris Mariscal (14th), Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (24th) and Taylor Smart (26th).

Current Mariners Willie Bloomquist, Felix Hernandez, James Jones, Dominic Leone, Yoervis Medina, Michael Saunders, Tom Wilhelmsen and Mike Zunino all played at Everett earlier in their careers.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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