SAN DIEGO -- The Padres will continue to send their newly drafted players and young talent to short-season Eugene of the Northwest League for another four seasons.

The Padres and Eugene Emeralds announced on Sunday that they have extended their Player Development Contract through the 2012 season.

Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development, made the announcement in Eugene, Ore.

"The renewal of our partnership in Eugene brings a lot of excitement for the future," said Fuson. "A new stadium for 2010, along with the continued support from Emeralds president Bob Beban and his staff make this one of the most enjoyable environments for our young players to start their careers."

The Emeralds have been an affiliate of the Padres since the 2001 season.

During the affiliation, 12 players have advanced to the Major Leagues, including current Padres pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, catcher Nick Hundley, shortstops Khalil Greene and Sean Kazmar and outfielder Chase Headley. Since 2001, San Diego has sent 11 of the Padres' first-round and supplemental first-round picks to Eugene.

"We consider Eugene one of the great cities in the Northwest League," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said in a press release. "Our working relationship with the Elmore ownership group and president Bob Beban is tremendous, and we were eager for it to continue. We are excited about the opportunity to open the new ballpark."

Earlier in August, the Padres signed a two-year extension to keep one of their Class A teams in Fort Wayne, Ind., through the 2010 season. The Padres and Fort Wayne have had a working relationship since 1999.