General manager Jerry Dipoto, in the end, looked to his past to guide the future by selecting his former assistant, Scott Servais, to be the Mariners’ new manager.
"Through the course of the 20-plus years I’ve known Scott," Dipoto said, "I’ve come to see him as one of the most complete, well-balanced and inclusive baseball people in the industry."
The Mariners confirmed the hiring at noon Friday and will hold an introductory news conference for Servais (pronounced Service) at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Safeco Field.
Servais becomes the 17th full-time manager in the franchise’s 40-year history. He replaces Lloyd McClendon, who was fired Oct. 9 by Dipoto with one year remaining on his contract.
"It has long been my goal to manage a big-league team," Servais said, "and while I took a slightly different path than many, I am confident in my ability to lead."
Servais, 48, spent three-plus years as an assistant general manager under Dipoto with the Los Angeles Angels, but he has never previously managed, nor even served as a coach, for a big-league club.
Dipoto chose Servais after a search process that lasted two weeks and is believed to have included five finalists. One of those candidates, Tim Bogar, is expected to join Servais’ staff as bench coach.
Other new members of the coaching staff could be announced at Monday’s news conference. Hitting coach Edgar Martinez and infield coach Chris Woodward are the only returning coaches from McClendon’s staff.
"We have a terrific core of players," Servais said, "and I’m looking forward to bringing in a coaching staff that will help me establish a winning culture."
Servais spent 11 big-league seasons as a catcher for four clubs from 1991-2001 before shifting to player-development roles. He batted .245 with a .306 on-base percentage and a .375 slugging percentage in 820 games.
Dipoto had been the Angels’ general manager for less than a week when he hired Servais on Nov. 4, 2011 to be the organization’s assistant general manager for scouting and player development.
Servais remained in that role until he accepted his new job with the Mariners. He spent the previous six seasons at Texas as its senior director for player development.
Dipoto became the Mariners general manager on Sept. 28, roughly three months after resigning from the Angels because of a souring relationship with manager Mike Scioscia, who had the support of owner Arne Moreno.
Servais was a candidate to replace Dipoto. When the Angels opted instead for New York Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler, it fueled speculation that Servais would reunite with Dipoto in a front-office role.
Instead, Servais chose to pursue managerial openings. He was linked to the the vacant post in San Diego before accepting Dipoto’s multi-year offer to manage the Mariners.
"I’ve been fortunate enough to call (Servais) a teammate as a player," Dipoto said, "while also having worked closely with him as an organizational leader in both Colorado and Los Angeles.
"He is a communicator with strong baseball acumen and leadership skills. I truly believe his strong character and career experiences as a player, coach and executive have prepared him for this opportunity."
Dipoto chose Servais over Bogar, another former member of his Angels’ inner circle whom he hired a year ago to serve as an special assistant to the general manager.
Bogar, 48, had been generally viewed, perhaps because of his time in 2014 as interim manager at Texas, as the favorite to replace McClendon.
Dipoto also spoke with Phil Nevin, Charlie Montoyo and Jason Varitek.
Nevin spent the last two years as the manager of Triple-A Reno in the Arizona system. Montoyo served last season at Tampa Bay’s third-base coach after eight years as the manager at Triple-A Durham.
Varitek works as a special assistant to the Boston general manager.