From all indications, the Mariners couldn’t go wrong with any of the four finalists they were considering for their new general manager.
In announcing 57-year-old Jack Zduriencik as their choice this morning, it’s clear that the Mariners were impressed with his ability to gauge arm strength, bat speed and agility afoot, and project how those qualities will work in the major leagues.
Zduriencik, the longtime scout who was the Milwaukee Brewers’ director of scouting, was responsible for drafting such young stars as Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Braun.
His hire is a clear indication that the Mariners believe a ground-up approach to strengthening the organization is needed. If he comes as advertised, look for the Mariners to take a longterm view at building the club via developing talent through their minor league system.
Team president Chuck Armstrong said last month that the days of the quick fix are over, so don’t look for many — if any — multi-million-dollar free agents for a while. (They already have enough on the roster with Carlos Silva, Adrian Beltre, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista)
The Mariners selected Zduriencik over three other impressive candidates — Jerry DiPoto of the Diamondbacks, Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays and Kim Ng of the Dodgers. All are considered strong as talent evaluators, but none has the years of experience — or the reputation that swayed the Mariners — of Zduriencik.