Mariners reach deals with pair of Draft picks

Mariners reach deals with pair of Draft picks

SEATTLE -- The Mariners agreed to terms with two players recently selected in the First-Year Player Draft. Fourth-round pick Patrick Kivlehan and seventh-round pick Taylor Ard both were at Safeco Field on Saturday and were planning on signing later in the day.

"It's been kind of a whirlwind," said Kivlehan, a former Rutgers third baseman. "I got the call on, I think it was Thursday mid-afternoon, and I'm flying Friday morning. So I had to pack and everything and got here early yesterday morning. Came over here, did everything, saw the game, saw a no-hitter, so it's been a crazy, crazy couple of days."

It is the New Jersey native's first time to the Pacific Northwest, and his first night he was able to witness his first no-hitter. Saturday morning, Kivlehan was able to walk through the Mariners' clubhouse and met Jesus Montero, whom he had seen play while the catcher was with the Yankees last season.

Kivlehan decided to put his baseball career on pause while he pursued football at Rutgers. After four years as a backup defensive back and special teams player, Kivlehan tried out for the Scarlet Knights' baseball team. As a third baseman, Kivlehan was the Big East Player of the Year, winning the conference's triple crown, becoming the first player to ever do so.

Ard, a first baseman from Washington State, was drafted for the third time. The Mariners like the power potential Ard brings to the plate. As a junior this season, Ard hit .332 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs.

Both Ard and Kivlehan will report to the Everett AquaSox, the Mariners' Class A short-season affiliate.