After receiving a one-year extension for the 2014 season and plenty of speculation that it would be his last with the organization, the Seattle Mariners announced that they have extended executive vice president and general manager Jack Zduriencik to a multi-year contract extension. Specifics about the contract beyond it being for multiple years were not released, the usual procedure for the club.
Zduriencik took over as general manager following the 2008 season and the M’s have a 430-510 record under his tenure, including a 101-loss 2010 campaign. Seattle currently holds a Wild Card slot and sits six games back of the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels in the American League West.
“We believe, with the efforts of Jack and staff, we are positioned to be a contender for many years to come.” #Mariners President Mather
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 26, 2014
After former manager Eric Wedge announced he would not return for the 2014 season in the final week of the 2013 season, speculation heated up as to whether or not Jack Z would name Wedge’s successor or if that task would be up to a new GM. The incumbent would be held on to with some rumors surrounding an extension for the 2015 season and beyond, and soon hired Lloyd McClendon as manager, perhaps one of the best moves he’s made during his tenure.
When the M’s signed Robinson Cano to a ten-year deal last December ownership was understandably very involved in the process — after all, it’s not everyday that one commits a quarter billion dollars to a player — but I had a hard time believing the powers that be would allow a franchise-altering transaction like that to take place if they didn’t feel Zduriencik would be with the club for much longer. But, the organization was committed to the plan that now has the Mariners playing meaningful baseball in August and into September with a solid chance at playing their first playoff baseball since 2001, even if it’s only one game. Not to mention the fact that the farm system is now as strong as it’s been in recent memory.
Prior to this year’s trade deadline, some sparks flew after a report from FOXSports after various executives described Zduriencik as difficult to complete a deal with despite plenty of effort. Prior to the report the M’s had just re-acquired Kendrys Morales from the Minnesota Twins and the GM did well to silence his critics when he picked up Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia in a pair of deals on July 31st.
Here’s a few of Trader Jack’s best deals from his tenure with the Mariners thus far:
Mariners acquire 1B Mike Carp, OF Ezequiel Carrera, OF Endy Chavez, P Maikel Cleto, OF Franklin Gutierrez, P Aaron Heilman, and P Jason Vargas in a three-team deal that sent P Sean Green, P J.J. Putz, and OF Jeremy Reed to the New York Mets, and 2B/3B Luis Valbuena to the Cleveland Indians
Mariners acquire OF Austin Jackson from the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal that sent SS Nick Franklin to the Tampa Bay Rays