As I touched on three and a half years ago, John Stanton, who will take over as Chairman, CEO and representative managing partner of the Seattle Mariners in August, brings more than just a business background to his new role. He’s a baseball fan, a Seattle-area native with dozens of ties to the region beyond business. But there’s one other dynamic that may come into play. I say ‘may’ because I’m writing this using knowledge I had three and a half years ago. Things change. But if they haven’t …

That dynamic is Pat Gillick. At last check, Gillick still owned a home in Magnolia, and still is active in his advisory role with the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s been more-than-hinted to me through sources close to Gillick over the past several years that the three-time World Series Champion general manager has some interest in the Mariners, still, but that he’d never work for or even with Howard Lincoln. Why? I don’t know, maybe something to do with the latter standing in the way of two terrific baseball seasons that had a chance to be historic for the city of Seattle, some 15-16 years ago.

Lincoln now is the outgoing CEO and Stanton and other now-majority owners in the group such as Chris Larson have very good relationships with Gillick. Gillick now is 78, however, and may not be interested in anything more than a role similar to his current one in Philly, if he’s interested in the Mariners at all at this stage. But it’s something to keep in mind, nonetheless.

I don’t imagine Gillick’s presence would mean any kind of change in the essential personnel (and, for the record, I don’t believe Lincoln has stood in the way of anything lately, so his absence isn’t a magical potion that equals championships), but it’s always a good idea to have quality baseball minds in the organization, and few are better than Gillick. Ask the Blue Jays, Orioles, Phillies and the Mariners. Two titles in Toronto, a club that went 21 years without a postseason berth after Gillick left, one in Philly, two playoff appearances with Baltimore breaking a 12-year drought, then went 14 years until their next appearances once Gillick left. Seattle has yet to break their post-Gillick playoff absence, which stands at 14 years. Gillick’s stamp remains in Philly, too, with the new front office being very much a Gillick-led baseball decision. He served as Philly’s interim president, hired Andy MacPhail as the permanent president.

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Not that the Mariner actually have a specific need for the Hall of Fame executive, but Gillick may actually fit in Seattle in an advisory role and now that Stanton and company run the show — as of August, anyway — the Lincoln obstacle no longer stands in the way. Even Theo Epstein likes having wise advisory-type executives around, just check his tenure in Boston.

I have no idea if either the new ownership or Gillick has even thought about something like this, but I’ll always pine for more Gillick, so… yeah.

Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI.

Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016.

Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.