The Seattle Mariners announced Friday afternoon that they have relieved General Manager Jack Zduriencik of his duties after seven seasons with the club. The move is effective immediately and Assistant GM Jeff Kingston is taking over the GM duties for the rest of the 2015 season. Kingston assumed the Assistant GM position in 2009.
When Zduriencik was hired back in October of 2008, there was a lot of optimism in Seattle when the hire was made because of his deep scouting background and being keen on the use of analytics.
In essence, that scouting background and development of players was exactly what doomed him in his time in Seattle. From Dustin Ackley to Chone Figgins to Danny Hultzen and now to Mike Zunino, who is one of the worst offensive catchers in baseball, many of his moves were suspect and never really panned out in the long run.
Overall, the team endured a losing tenure while Jack Z was at the helm with a record of 505-595 (.459) and went through multiple managers. His first hire was Don Wakamatsu, which lasted about a season and a half. From there Eric Wedge was hired and when he walked out after 2013, Lloyd McClendon was brought in and is still managing the team.
During that span of managers, the Mariners had just two winning seasons and zero playoff appearances.
On August 26, 2014, new Mariners President Kevin Mather signed Zduriencik to a multi year extension based on the winning campaign the Mariners were having a season ago. Those thoughts have obviously changed as the Mariners are looking at another losing season.
Zduriencik did make some quality moves in his time, however, including signing star Robinson Cano to a mega-deal, extending Felix Hernandez, extending Kyle Seager to a very club-friendly deal, and signing free agent Nelson Cruz. You can sign and extend players all you want, but if you don’t develop players to put around these big names, staying around and being successful is very difficult and that is why the Jack Zduriencik era in Seattle is over.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the search has already begun for a new GM.
The Mariners need to make a good hire to replenish the farm system and get this franchise back to the playoffs, a place they haven’t been since 2001.