BREAKING: 'Dads, Rangers reach two-year extension

The Hickory Crawdads announced on Wednesday that their partnership with the Texas Rangers has been extended.

The 'Dads and Rangers came to an agreement that will extend their Player Development Contract through the end of the 2014 season.

The Crawdads have been affiliated with the Texas Rangers since the 2009 campaign.

"On behalf of our president, Nolan Ryan, and our general manager, Jon Daniels, I would like to thank the Crawdads' ownership and management for providing us another opportunity to extend our affiliation," said Texas Rangers Senior Director of Player Development Tim Purpura. "We have enjoyed our time in Hickory, and we look forward to much success in future years."

The Crawdads have enjoyed great on-field prosperity as an affiliate of the Rangers, making the SAL Playoffs in two of the first three seasons with Texas.

Hickory posted a league-best 79-58 record in 2011, including the 'Dads first First-Half Northern Division Championship since the 2003 season.

Since the start of the Texas affiliation in 2009, the Crawdads have logged a winning record of 288-260.

In their time with the Rangers, the 'Dads have had numerous prospects enjoy individual on-field accolades.

Since 2009, Hickory has had 18 players named to the SAL Midseason All-Star Game and four voted to the SAL Postseason All-Star Team.

In 2011, shortstop Jurickson Profar earned the SAL Most Valuable Player and also became the first current Crawdads player to ever suit up in the prestigious MLB Future's Game.

On the big league scale, seven players have already debuted in the Major Leagues who played in Hickory under the Rangers affiliation.

"We are excited about the opportunity to be affiliated with the Texas Rangers for another two seasons. They are an excellent organization both on and off the field," said Crawdads General Manager Mark Seaman. "From day one of our relationship, the Rangers have been a pleasure to work with. The talent they have brought to Hickory speaks for itself, and we look forward to much more of it for seasons to come."

Hickory is currently in the midst of its final home series of the season against the Lexington Legends.

The 'Dads are also in the hunt for the South Atlantic League Northern Divsion second-half title, trailing Hagerstown by four games entering Wednesday.