The Seattle Mariners announced today the firing of general manager Jack Zduriencik. Assistant general manager Jeff Kingston will assume the role as GM for the rest of the season.
#Mariners relieve Jack Zduriencik of GM duties. Assistant GM Jeff Kingston will handle GM responsibilities for remainder of the 2015 season.
— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) August 28, 2015
The Mariners released this statement from team president Kevin Mather.
“We have reached the point when change of leadership of our baseball operations is needed for the Seattle Mariners to reach our goal of winning championships. We are very disappointed with the results this season, and are not satisfied with the current operation. The search for a permanent general manager will begin immediately, and while there is no deadline, we expect to have a new GM in place as soon as practical. We have great respect for Jack and his work ethic. He was an excellent representative of the Mariners both within the game of baseball and in the community. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish him and (his wife) Debbie all the best, and thank him for all his efforts.”
The move is a long time coming. The Mariners won 87 games last year after spending big on free agent Robinson Cano, but the club has had only one winning season since posting 85 wins in 2009. While it was thought the Mariners could take the next step this year, the team has struggled mightily posting a 59-69 record (.461%) which places them second last in the AL West. As Jon Morosi of Fox Sports notes, the club posted a 505-595 record under Zduriencik, which is the fifth worst record since he was hired in October of 2008.
One candidate has already emerged – MLB Network’s Dan O’Dowd, the long-time GM of the Colorado Rockies.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 28, 2015
This is going to be an interesting job search to follow. Seattle is in a weird place in the AL West, living in the shadow of the large market, free-spending Angels and Rangers and the young Astros and Athletics. And then there are the Mariners, who don’t have a great track record of developing young talent in recent years and also don’t go crazy on the free agent market. They’re going to need a GM that can bridge that gap quite well, and finding an ideal candidate won’t be easy.