M’s GM: Why would anyone want this job?

While the Mariners conduct interviews and pare down their list of general manager candidates, at least three assistant GMs from other teams already are out of the picture.

David Forst of the A’s and Jed Hoyer of the Red Sox said they’d stay with their teams rather than talk with the Mariners, and the White Sox rejected the Mariners’ request to interview Rick Hahn.

Geez, does anybody want this job?

The answer is a definite yes, but there are concerns. While some within the club(including manager Jim Riggleman) believe the Mariners need only a couple of productive hitters to become a competitive team again, many others say the organization needs to be reconstructed from the bottom. If so, it will be a massive job that will require time and patience.

Meanwhile, there’s concern over the amount of influence Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and president Chuck Armstrong will have over baseball-related decisions. In a story last week on MLB.COM, Armstrong said the next GM’s management style must be “collaborative and inclulsive,” meaning upper management will have a say in decisions. Click here for that story.

Armstrong’s comments have generated a lot of discussion among baseball people, including some GM candidates who wonder how much autonomy the Mariners would give the next GM. How much would Lincoln and Armstrong stand in the way of signings and trades? Would they tell the new GM that he or she couldn’t reorganize the scouting and player development departments alone? Or would Lincoln and Armstrong simply require that they be informed of baseball decisions and then let the GM do what he or she believes fits the organizational plan?

With so many questions and so much work needed to return the Mariners to a competitive team, would anyone really want this job?

The answer is an absolute yes. There are only 30 of these jobs and despite the challenge, the Mariners offer a competitive player payroll, a modern ballpark and a great city to live in.

Forst, Hoyer and Hahn are out of the running for reasons only they know, but plenty of others — Kim Ng, Jerry DiPoto, Tony LaCava, Tony Bernazard, Peter Woodfork, Al Avila, Bob Engle and Lee Pelekoudas — are more than willing to take on the job.

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