Mariners Part Ways With GM Jack Zduriencik

Too Much Disappointment In 2015 To Ignore

The Seattle Mariners took the action many, including me, thought was inevitable Friday morning and said goodbye to their General Manager, Jack Zduriencik, after seven seasons.  The move finally signals the waving of the white flag for the Mariners on their 2015 season after most believed they were destined for the playoffs when the year began.

Jesus Montero

Jack’s trades have been questionable to say the least. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Ultimately the failure by Jack and his staff to draft well was their undoing.  The Mariners only have Kyle Seager to point to as a successful draft choice during Jack’s run.  The rest of the list includes names of injured players, failed players, or those still struggling to find their way through the minor leagues.  Danny Hultzen, Dustin Ackley and Mike Zunino all come to mind on this list.  That’s not what we expected from the guy that ‘s best skill was said to be talent evaluation.

Then there were the trades.  Jack acquired players like Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero at the trading block.  Smoak was a disaster and the jury is still out on Montero.

Free agency was a little bit kinder to Jack.  He did land Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz but he’s also responsible for guys like Chone Figgins.  Nobody is going to be perfect at making these kinds of decisions but in Jack’s case, he was wrong far more often than he needed to be to get a winner to Seattle.

Now the Mariners will enter the final month of their failed 2015 season, September, with no one at the helm while the ownership group attempts to find a GM candidate who is willing to come to Seattle. 

Given that group’s record of meddling around the GM’s office, it won’t be easy to convince a top candidate to come to Seattle.

There’s also the fact that the best GM candidate available, Dave Dombrowski, has already signed with the Red Sox.  The Mariners waited too long to pull the trigger to let Jack go despite the fact that it was obvious to everyone that it needed to happen back in mid July.  Doing so caused them to miss a shot at Dombrowski.

Can the M’s come up with a big name GM in Seattle?  The best available right now includes names like Kenny Williams, Jerry DiPoto, Ben Cherington and Dan O’Dowd.  What will that mean for Lloyd McClendon who still has a year left on his deal ?  Rarely does a new GM not have the power to hire his skipper.

Then there is the roster.

Will they blow the roster up and start fresh or will they try to salvage what they can?  The Mariner’s roster is still fixable from my viewpoint. 

Ketel Marte is an emerging leadoff man.  Seager, Cruz, Cano and Mark Trumbo still create a tough middle part of the lineup.   The M’s will need to fix Mike Zunino by giving him the time he needs at AAA that he NEVER had a chance to get when they rushed him up.  That will mean getting a catcher someplace as well as a couple of other guys that can play in the outfield and reach base in front of their middle four a bit more consistently.

Pitching wise the bullpen has been a disaster but with Fernando Rodney gone and a resurgent Tom Wilhelmsen and Carson Smith the backend looks pretty good.  The starting rotation looks solid with Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias and James Paxton (if he can stay healthy).  They’ll need to find at least one other starter or try to re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma whom they should have traded.  Too late now.

But hey, I’m not applying for the job.  That’s the new GM’s job, if they dare to take it.  The M’s owners have only stayed out of the way of their GM once.  They were rewarded with a 116 win season by then GM, Pat Gillick.

It’s time to think that way again if you are the Mariners.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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