The Seattle Mariners ended any speculation that they might make a change at the general manager position following the season by announcing that Jack Zduriencik will be returning in 2014, via 710sports.com.
Although the club revealed in August that they had signed Zduriencik to a one-year extension during the offseason, no official word had come from the club about his return. Pressure had been put on Zduriencik to show signs of progress, as he has a 357-449 record through nearly five seasons, and this year’s win total is guaranteed to be less than the 75 of 2012.
Fan opinion about Zduriencik has typically been mixed. He has drafted extremely well in Seattle, as several young players such as Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, and Taijuan Walker have risen quickly through the minors and already played at the major league level. However, the Mariners have also had some poor trades and free-agent signings during Zduriencik’s tenure. Either way, it hasn’t translated to much major league success.
The future for manager Eric Wedge is less certain. Wedge, whose contract expires after the season, has a 211-271 record in nearly three full seasons in Seattle. He missed 28 games this year after suffering a stroke in July.
The team has shown considerable patience with both, as they have had some success at previous stops. Zduriencik was not the general manager in Milwaukee, but received a large share of the credit for the Brewers’ 2008 playoff run, which took several seasons to build. Wedge led the Cleveland Indians to the ALCS in 2007, his sixth year with the team.
One thing in Seattle is for certain: If either are to be around past 2014, the team will need to show major signs of progress.
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