Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reported last month that Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik signed a contract extension last year that would keep him in his current gig through 2014. M’s president Chuck Armstrong refused to comment on that story for weeks, but that changed Tuesday.
“Yes, Jack will be back,” Armstrong told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times before the Mariners’ game against the Royals on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. Armstrong declined to go into any further details about Jack Z’s status, citing “club policy.”
The Mariners have gone 356-449 in Zduriencik’s tenure. That’s a wretched .442 winning percentage.
“You always operate on the basis that you’re going to keep doing the job,” Zduriencik said in a short interview after Armstrong’s confirmation. “That’s what I’ve been doing. It’s been business as usual.”
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.