Zduriencik Deserves At Least One More Year

The Mariners agreed to a contract extension (of the multi-year variety according to MLB Trade Rumors) with GM Jack Zduriencik.

We can debate how good or bad a job Zduriencik has done; he’s done some smart things and some stupid things along with things that may have made sense but didn’t work.

It’s fair that he gets more time.

I said before the season that if the Mariners had another series of off-field incidents and evidence of front office anarchy, Zduriencik had to go. That hasn’t happened.

On the field, they played over their heads for the first half of the season before the wheels came off due to a pitching staff that could no longer counteract an atrocious offense. They need to see what they have with full 2012 seasons from Dustin Ackley and Carlos Peguero along with continued improvement from Michael Pineda and excellence from Felix Hernandez.

He has to upgrade the offense somehow.

What I find interesting about the linked piece is that there are no details as to why some of Zduriencik’s moves were “memorable”.

The deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Rangers was more notable for his double-dealing on the Yankees and that he acquired an accused sex offender, Josh Lueke, which led to major fallout and contretemps from both the Mariners and Rangers.

The Brandon Morrow for Brandon League looks better now that League has been closing and made the All Star team, but that was more than a baseball move; it was done for Morrow’s own good and he’s still got a ways to go in fulfilling his potential with the Blue Jays; no matter what happens, Zduriencik can’t be faulted for it even if Morrow becomes a superstar.

Zduriencik’s plan has been partially sabotaged by the foolish anointing of “genius” based on partisanship and idiocy; that the Mariners drastically overachieved in his first season; and ownership has interfered in decisions that the GM surely would not have made (bringing Ken Griffey Jr. back in 2010 for example).

Let’s see if they let him do what he’d undoubtedly prefer to do and let Ichiro Suzuki walk after 2012 (or even try to trade him this winter); that will be a clearer window into whether he’s going to be allowed to do his job the way he wants to do it.

If they don’t, this extension makes little sense.

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