General manager Jack Zduriencik, who's tried to rebuild the Seattle Mariners from the minor league system up, was given a multi-year extension to continue with the team he took over in 2009, despite the fact he's had one winning in season in three.
True to his word when hired, Jack Z. has focused on ridding the franchise of the players on hand when he arrived, acquiring young talent through trade and draft with occasional disappointing forays into the free agent market.
Zduriencik's trades have produced Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Carp, Jason Vargas, Brendan Ryan, Casper Wells, Trayvon Robinson, Charlie Furbush, Justin Smoak, Brandon League, Blake Beaven, Josh Lueke and Chance Ruffin - all part of the Mariners roster today, though Smoak is on the disabled list.
He's drafted two others, Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager, and signed free agents Miguel Olivo, Adam Kennedy, Chone Figgins and Luis Rodriguez.
Zduriencik's successes have outweighed failures like Jack Cust, Erik Byrnes, Ian Snell, Casey Kotchman, Luke French, a misguided Mike Morse-for-Ryan Langerhans trade, the second year of Ken GriffeyJr. and the handling of manager Don Wakamatsu - fired after the only winning year of Z's tenure.
"If you look at what’s on the field here, we’re starting to see some success," Zduriencik said. "The fact I’ve been asked to stay on is important to the whole process. It certainly means a lot to me and I’m excited I have the opportunity to be here.
How far are the Mariners from contention?
"How quick our players come on, what we do this winter is going to be important. Some of the things we do in spring training, with non-roster invites, is going to be important," Zduriencik said.
"It would be foolish to say one year from now we’re going to be here, or two years from now we’re going to be here. It’s difficult to predict because you’re dealing with the human element."
Before tonight's game with Los Angeles, the Mariners record under Zduriencik is 203-255.
“I’m excited that Jack’s signed an extension. He’s the guy to lead this team," manager Eric Wedge said. "We didn’t really know each other when I interviewed, but our relationship has grown immensely. I’m aligned with his thoughts on this team, where it is and where it’s going.