The Mariners had been in Bakersfield and High Desert in previous years, two locations with their own issues: Bakersfield with the old and limited facilities at Sam Lynn Ballpark, and high elevations in High Desert. Terms of the purchase were not released, but multiple sources indicate the Mariners purchased 51 percent of the franchise from HWS Baseball IV, which has owned and managed the team since 2005. Technically, the M’s and the Nuts signed a four-year player-development contract (PDC) through the 2020 season. HWS Baseball IV will manage the team under the terms of the deal.
“I think this is a great day for the Nuts, the City of Modesto and all baseball fans in the Stanislaus County area,” said HWS Baseball’s Michael Savit in a press statement. “The Mariners are a great organization, and the commitment they are making to the franchise says a great deal about Modesto and its baseball future. We couldn’t be happier about partnering with the Mariners.”
“The Mariners are committed to a strong minor league system,” said Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay in a press statement. “That commitment, coupled with our desire to remain in the California League and the great opportunity to be affiliated with the Nuts and the city and fans of Modesto, has led us to this partnership. We are looking forward to many, many years of success here in Modesto.”
The partnership is the second of its kind in the California League. The San Francisco Giants are the majority owners of the San Jose Giants franchise.
The Nuts had been affiliated with the Colorado Rockies since the 2005 season.
Here is a look at the current affiliation status in Minor League Baseball. Teams have until the end of the month to finalize their 2017-2018 affiliation agreements.
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