According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, Seattle Mariners’ General Manager Jack Zduriencik has had his contract expanded bast 2014 and new Manager Lloyd McClendon will also receive a multi-year deal:
Sources: New #Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon got a multi-year deal. Jack Zduriencik will also likely be extended beyond 2014 fairly soon.
— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) November 6, 2013
This really shouldn’t surprise anyone, this had to be done for Zduriencik to get a manager signed; it is widely assumed — and rightfully so — that any new GM would bring in his own manager, and not use the previous regime’s choice. So for anyone to be interested in the M’s managerial job, Jack Z was going to have to be extended for him to be effective in his search for another manager.
For those who want to see Zduriencik fired, this contract extension doesn’t prevent him from being fired if the 2014 season turns out to be a disaster. It gives him job security if the team continues to improve — and by improve, I mean show signs of life in 2014 –, and that is going to hinge on a lot of things going forward.
The biggest one is going to be how Jack Z does in the free agent market this year; he is rumored to be interested in Jacoby Ellsbury, with Shin-Soo Choo as the apparent back-up plan if Ellsbury doesn’t sign with the Mariners. That same article talks about how the team is looking for another starting pitcher and a right handed bat. Now that shouldn’t surprise anyone as starting pitching, and hitting left handed pitching were two of the biggest issues the M’s had in 2013.
It confirms what everyone knows, Zduriencik knows what the team’s issues are now that the core is in place. The big question is, is he going to be able to supplement the core with free agents that actually can produce — and I mean legitimately produce, none of that Raul Ibanez ridiculous two month hot streak b.s — because if he can then he is the team’s GM going forward; but if he can’t, and if the young guys don’t produce this upcoming baseball season, then it is probably time for the M’s to start shopping for another GM and manager.