Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik’s contract is up after this season, but Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that he’s agreed to a one-year extension. However, when asked about the report Mariners president Chuck Armstrong declined to comment.
Seattle went 85-77 in Zduriencik’s first season as GM in 2009, but since then the Mariners have gone 260-350 (.426) while finishing below .500 every year. This season they’re 57-67, which is a 75-87 pace that would equal last year’s record.
Also of note is that manager Eric Wedge’s contract ends after this season as well, so if ownership doesn’t plan to bring him back for 2014 that could explain why they’re holding off on the Zduriencik announcement.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.