Jack Zduriencik has had an interesting stint as the Seattle Mariners GM. Jack has been at the helm since October 2008 and has made some interesting moves, but none of them have resulted in any kind of success for the team.
Just about every trade or signing the team has made has blown up, from trading for Cliff Lee, then trading Lee within the division to the Texas Rangers and getting Justin Smoak in return, signing Chone Figgins, and don’t get me started on the Ichiro trade to the New York Yankees , that got us next to nothing in return.
It is safe to say that Jack Zduriencik has done nothing to really define himself as a GM during his tenure in Seattle, but the 7-year $175 million contract extension that was signed by Felix Hernandez this week is definitely a defining move. The one thing I have always liked about Jack Z is that he has always been adamant about keeping Hernandez in Seattle as the centerpiece of the team and attempting to build around him.
“Felix is committed to this franchise, and to the city of Seattle, and is a key part of what we are building here,” Zduriencik said in a statement released by the team. “As we take necessary steps to reach the next level as a team, Felix will be a key component. We have had a plan since I arrived in Seattle: to build this organization to play at a championship level on a consistent basis. As I have said before, when we get to that level we will need, and want a pitcher, and a person, like Felix.”
Rumors have swirled about potential Felix Hernandez trades over the past few years, anywhere from a deal to the Yankees based around superstar second basemen Robinson Cano, to inner-division trade with the Los Angeles Angels involving Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. Although most of these rumors are ridiculous, there has always been the possibility of a blockbuster trade, and Zduriencik has always turned down any proposed offer.
Zduriencik understands that the Mariners do not have the best fan support, seeing the biggest 10-year attendance drop in the of American Professional sports, but resigning a fan favorite in King Felix, to historic deal is a good way to start to win back a fan base that is still mourning after the trade of a Seattle sports icon like Ichiro.
Zduriencik is in the last year of his contract, and has team headed in the right direction, with a much improved lineup, but a pitching rotation that is mostly unproven after Hernandez could be hindrance to the team’s success in the 2013 season. Zduriencik will need to show that the team is improving if he wants to come back next year, but locking up your ace for the 7 years is a good start.