After 16 years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Arkansas Travelers became part of the Seattle Mariners organization on Wednesday.
In a three-way swap, the Mariners moved its Double-A team from Jackson, Tenn., to North Little Rock, with the Angels headed to Mobile, Ala., and the Diamondbacks are now the new team in Jackson.
Mobile and Jackson, Tenn., are both in the Southern League, while the Travs are in the Texas League and have been for the last 51 years.
The Mariners deal is for the next two seasons.
“The Travelers are excited to have this opportunity to start a new relationship with the Seattle Mariners," Travelers President Russ Meeks said in a 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.”
Dipoto was the Angels general manager from 2011 to 2015 and has been with the Mariners for less than a year.
The Mariners had a Double-A team in San Antonio from 2001 to 2006 before spending the last 10 years in West Tennessee.
The Jackson Generals won the Southern League this past season.
“The Mariners have a commitment to a strong minor league system, and value the best possible environment for our prospects to develop," Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay said/. "We will have that environment with the Arkansas Travelers.”
All seven Mariners minor league teams qualified for postseason play this past season and had a combined record of 451-314.
“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," Dipoto said. "Both organizations are committed to the community, good baseball and an entertaining ballpark experience.”
The Travs just marked their 10th anniversary in North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park.