The Seattle Mariners and General Manager Jack Zduriencik officially parted ways on Friday. The Mariners fired Zduriencik after a disappointing and underachieving season. The Mariners find themselves a lot of games behind the Astros in the AL West and a lot games behind the second wildcard spot.
This is a far cry from their 87 wins last year, in which many in the organization were optimistic going into this season. Zduriencik signed a contract extension in August last season and things seemed to be looking up.
The Mariners have the second longest playoff drought in baseball and felt good going into this season as a contender in the AL West with a chance to break the drought.
Since taking over General Manager duties before the 2009 season, the Mariners have had three 90-loss seasons while posting the fifth worst record in baseball at 505-595.
With a long, frustrating playoff drought that appears like it will continue, and a fanbase who is fed up with the current state of the team, this was the first of what seems to be more moves that will likely be made.
Zduriencik’s most notable moves were made in the last couple seasons through free agency. He signed Robinson Cano to a monster deal. He also got another star this past offseason when he brought in former Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz.
During his time in Seattle, only one player drafted has turned into a All-Star; third baseman Kyle Seager.
With three draft picks in the top five during his tenure (Mike Zunino, Danny Hultzen and Dustin Ackley), none have been able to be solid contributors on the Major League level.
Zduriencik also had a slew of trades that didn’t pan out for the team. To go along with a depleted farm system, this wasn’t what the Mariners organization had envisioned when they brought him over from the Brewers as one of the top talent evaluators in the league.
Mariners President Kevin Mathers when asked about the firing said “ We made this decision today not on the 2015 major league club, but the 2016 to 2020 major league team and getting back to meaningful baseball in October, a place the mariners have not been since 2001.”
Assistant GM Jeff Kingston will take over in the interim. Mathers also went on to say that he has no plans to fire Manager Lloyd McClendon who is under contract until next season, but Zduriencik’s successor will ultimately have the final input on the decision. Expect more changes to come in the offseason.
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