By John Boyle
A winning record hasn’t just turned the Mariners into legitimate playoff contenders for the first time in a decade, it also has given general manager Jack Zduriencik some job security.
The team announced Tuesday that it has reached a multi-year contract extension with Zduriencik, who a year ago was very much on the hot seat as the Mariners missed the playoffs for the 12th straight year, a season that saw manager Eric Wedge abruptly resign at the end of the season.
This season, however, the Mariners have turned a corner and are very much in the playoff mix. Not only did Zduriencik hit on the offseason signings of Robinson Cano and Fernando Rodney (Corey Heart, however, is a different story, and the jury is still out on Logan Morrison), he also made what so far looks like shrewd trade-deadline move acquiring centerfielder Austin Jackson. Perhaps most importantly, Zduriencik helped turn Wedge’s awkward departure into a positive by hiring Lloyd McClendon, who has pushed a lot of the right buttons with his new team and who deserves to be a manager of the year candidate.
“Since Jack took over after the 2008 season, we have been building toward our ultimate goal, which is to win the World Series,” Mariners president Kevin Mather said in a press release. “We believe, with the efforts of Jack and his staff, we are now well-positioned as an organization to be a contender for many years to come.”