After the surprising resignation of manager Eric Wedge, Seattle Mariners chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln says that he fully believes in General Manager Jack Zduriencik's abilities moving forward, reports MLB.com.
Wedge had been expected to meet with Zduriencik to discuss a contract extension this week, but instead requested a meeting on September 26 instead. The next day, the Mariners announced that he would not return as manager. Wedge claimed that he resigned due to he and Zduriencik no longer holding the same vision for the organization moving forward.
Questions of Zduriencik's job security have existed since 2010, when the team lost 101 games in his second year as general manager. His first year in office, the Mariners won 85 games, a 24-game improvement over the previous season. The Mariners have not had a winning year since.
"I have confidence in Jack going forward," Lincoln told reporters. "[Team president Chuck Armstrong] does as well. Our ownership group does. Has Jack made some mistakes in trades? Absolutely. He knows all the mistakes he's made and all the good things he's done. But Jack has done a great job of developing, drafting and trading for young talent. I score him very high on that."
Those trades included sending Mike Morse (who was later reaquired) to the Nationals, Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays, trading Cliff Lee for the thus-far disappointing Justin Smoak and Blake Beavan, and sending Doug Fister to the Tigers for Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells and Chance Ruffin. Of course, other trades (like his acquisition of Lee) have been lauded.
The Mariners will have money for Zduriencik to play with this offseason. Expiring contracts will take approximately $31 million off the books and allow Seattle to make a run at players who can fill holes in the system. The priority will be to find a new manager, however.
The team has already gone through big changes with the departure of Wedge and the death of majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi. Another change could throw the organization into chaos, so Zduriencik will receive at least one more year to right the ship.