Tag: Seattle Mariners

Ken Griffey Jr.’s Number to Be Retired by the Mariners

Ken Griffey Jr. will go into the Hall of Fame as a Seattle Mariners legend, and no Mariners player will ever wear No. 24 again.

On Friday, the Mariners announced they will retire the number Griffey wore during his entire tenure in Seattle at some point in the upcoming season.

Seattle tweeted the news:

Griffey, along with legendary New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza, was one of two players elected to the 2016 Hall of Fame class. The 13-time All-Star played for three teams in his 22-year career, but Griffey spent 13 of those years as a superstar in Seattle.

That’s the reason why Griffey wants to be remembered for his time with the Mariners, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):

I think I did most of my damage as a Mariner. Want to be the first in a lot of things, and to be able to wear a Mariners hat and to go into the Hall of Fame as a Mariner, that’s also one of the decisions I needed to make. I felt being 19, they gave me an opportunity to play the game that I love. I spent most of my time in Seattle.

This is a fitting tribute for one of the greatest players in baseball history. Seattle hasn’t been a consistent winning organization since trading Griffey to the Cincinnati Reds in 2000, and the run of success the Mariners experienced in the 1990s was largely due to Griffey’s contributions.

He was a once-in-a-generation player who could do everything from hitting home runs to making jaw-dropping catches in the outfield. Griffey redefined the game for outfielders and paved the way for Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, two of the best young players in baseball.

Griffey hit 417 home runs and batted .292 during his career with the Mariners.

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Ken Griffey Jr.’s Number Flies Above Seattle on Space Needle After HOF Induction

Seattle wasted no time celebrating Ken Griffey Jr.‘s record-setting Hall of Fame induction on Wednesday.

A flag baring the No. 24 flew high above the city from the Space Needle that night, honoring the longtime Seattle Mariners star who started and ended his career with the team.


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Hisashi Iwakuma’s Surprise Return Caps Mariners’ Surge Back to AL West Relevance

For a time, it looked like the Seattle Mariners had lost Hisashi Iwakuma. During that time, they had the look of a solid yet flawed team.

But then Iwakuma fell back into their laps. And now, well, surprise! What was a solid but flawed team now looks like a plain ol’ solid team.

If you missed this week’s Iwakuma drama, it started Thursday evening when Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported that the veteran right-hander’s three-year agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers had hit a health-related snag. It seemed at the time like the two sides were merely going to restructure their agreement, but that’s when Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto surprised us all.

He even surprised his coworkers, for that matter, announcing that the club had agreed to bring Iwakuma back at the Mariners’ holiday party:

The agreement Iwakuma made with the Dodgers called for him to make $45 million. The Mariners aren’t taking as big of a risk. As reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Iwakuma’s contract is only guaranteed for 2016, with club options for 2017 and 2018. It also guarantees him only $12 million.

This doesn’t sound like a bad gamble to take on a guy who was an American League Cy Young contender in 2013 and has only “regressed” to post a 3.53 ERA across 48 starts in two seasons since. And though there’s obviously a question about Iwakuma’s health, the Mariners aren’t as hung up on it as the Dodgers apparently were.

“We understood where he was going into the offseason,” said Dipoto, referring to an exit physical exam at the end of 2015, per Larry Stone of the Seattle Times. “We have every confidence that situation has not changed, and we’re comfortable moving forward.”

If Iwakuma does stay healthy, he’ll occupy his usual role as Seattle’s No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez. That is good, because that appeared to be the one glaring need the Mariners had before the Dodgers let the 34-year-old slip through their grasp.

“We’re all thrilled. This is a big move for us,” Dipoto told Greg Johns of MLB.com. “We feel like this really puts a finishing touch on what we think has been a very productive offseason.”

Iwakuma’s signing does indeed look like the finishing touch on Seattle’s offseason. Regarding that, calling it “very productive” might actually be an understatement.

In fact, it’s surprising how productive the Mariners have managed to be this winter.

It was clear when Seattle hired Dipoto in late September that he had his work cut out for him in repairing a roster that disappointed its way to 86 losses. But how Dipoto was supposed to repair the Mariners was a good question. He was walking into a situation where he had little payroll flexibility to work with and a farm system Baseball America ranked No. 25 in MLB at the start of the year. 

As such, blockbuster trades and free-agent signings—a la the ones that had delivered Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz the prior two winters—were basically out of the question. That left Dipoto with pretty much one option—and one option only.

“I think the one that we are missing right now is just a general roster depth,” he said at his introductory press conference, via ESPN.com. “The lineup needs to be a little longer, the rotation needs to be a little deeper, the bullpen needs to have more layers than it presently has.”

Many twists and turns later, “depth” is exactly what Dipoto has acquired.

In trades, the Mariners have added right-handed starter Nathan Karns, left-handed starter Wade Miley, right-handed relievers Joaquin Benoit and Evan Scribner, center fielder Leonys Martin and first baseman Adam Lind. In addition to Iwakuma, the Mariners have also added catcher Chris Iannetta, left fielder Nori Aoki and righty reliever Steve Cishek.

That’s a pretty big haul for a single team, and it looks even better that the Mariners didn’t have to sacrifice much to make it happen. Apart from righty relief ace Carson Smith, the Mariners’ trades didn’t take away anything they figure to miss. Each of the club’s free-agent contracts, meanwhile, is low-risk.

Best of all, though, is how none of this has been Dipoto adding depth simply for the sake of adding depth. Everything he’s done has been with a purpose.

On the mound, it doesn’t look like the Mariners are going to need Hernandez and Iwakuma to carry the rotation again. Karns and Miley aren’t great pitchers, but they figure to at least be solid innings-eaters. With them in tow, Johns of MLB.com notes that Seattle’s rotation looks a lot deeper:

Depth was also a problem in Seattle’s bullpen, which sputtered to a 4.15 ERA that ranked 25th in MLB.

After that, swapping out Smith for Benoit, Scribner and Cishek doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Benoit has been largely dominant over the last three seasons, posting a 1.98 ERA. Scribner just posted an MLB-best 16.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2015. Cishek suffered through a rough patch for a while there, but he showed signs of life in posting a 2.31 ERA down the stretch with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Elsewhere, the other pieces Dipoto has acquired fill more specific needs left over from 2015.

Lind should help the Mariners avoid another modest .681 OPS at first base. Iannetta should help them avoid another hideous .208 OBP at catcher. After the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in Seattle’s lineup posted OBPs in the low .300s, Aoki’s on-base talent should upgrade the top of the order. Lastly, Martin’s glove is an easy upgrade for what was terrible center field defense.

Now, understand that we’re not looking at an elite team. FanGraphs’ WAR projections for 2016 peg the Mariners as roughly a middle-of-the-road team. When you remember Cano and Hernandez are coming off less-than-awesome seasons and Cruz is Seattle’s only elite bat, that sounds fair enough.

Look again, though, and you’ll notice the only AL West team with a higher WAR projection is the Houston Astros. I would also argue that WAR projections can underrate teams that aren’t necessarily great on paper but are constructed in a coherent way. These Mariners have that kind of vibe.

This is to say that, though they’re not necessarily favorites, the Mariners have bought themselves a fighting chance in the AL West. That’s a credit to Dipoto, who walked into a difficult job and has probably surpassed expectations with how he’s dealt with it.

Of course, he does owe the Dodgers at least some credit for that. Without them, finding the finishing touch for his offseason would have been much more difficult.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Hisashi Iwakuma to Mariners: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Hisashi Iwakuma is staying in Washington, after all.

After originally agreeing to leave the Seattle Mariners for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Iwakuma signed a new deal with the Mariners on Thursday for 2016 with options for 2017 and 2018, per Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio in Seattle.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Iwakuma’s first year of the deal was worth close to $15.8 million, and with the two option years tacked on, the contract could be worth nearly $45 million. 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported Iwakuma received a full no-trade clause in the deal, while the team announced Seattle designated outfielder Dan Robertson for assignment to clear a roster spot.

The Mariners posted a video of general manager Jerry Dipoto announcing the re-signing of Iwakuma:

“Hello everyone,” Iwakuma said to start his press conference on Friday, per Greg Johns of MLB.com. “The Bear is back in Seattle.”

“I’m very glad it worked out this way,” Iwakuma added, per Johns.

The Japanese right-handed pitcher accepted a three-year, $45 million deal with the Dodgers on Dec. 6, but Los Angeles backed out after reviewing Iwakuma’s physical, according to Japan’s Jiji Press (via ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon).

“I’m very healthy,” Iwakuma said, per Bob Dutton of the News Tribune.

Johns of MLB.com provided a transcript of Dipoto’s reasoning for re-signing Iwakuma:

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted the shaky ground on which his team stood with Iwakuma mid-Thursday, per Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:

The 34-year-old starter has recorded a winning season every year since coming to the major leagues in 2012. He went 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 2015. As the Mariners continue to rebuild under Dipoto, getting Iwakuma back was a huge signing as Seattle looks to cobble together a rotation around ace Felix Hernandez.

However, Iwakuma’s failed physical could be an issue, as it was enough to cause the Dodgers to back off. But if healthy, the righty will be in the mix with Taijuan Walker, Wade Miley and others for a top-of-the-rotation spot in 2016.

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Nori Aoki to Mariners: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

After a magnificent start to 2015 for the San Francisco Giants, outfielder Nori Aoki suffered a concussion and was unable to return to action for a prolonged period of time.  

San Francisco declined a $5.5 million club option on Aoki, leading the Japanese standout to sign with the Seattle Mariners.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the deal, while Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed the agreement.

Rosenthal noted how the deal ties into Seattle’s offseason strategy:

A fractured fibula and a concussion limited Aoki to 93 games, which stymied a hot beginning to his 2015 campaign.

Prior to the All-Star break, the Japanese standout had a .317 batting average but slipped to .204 in his final 93 at-bats. That slump—albeit brought on by health issues—gave Seattle at least some leverage to negotiate for Aoki at an even greater bargain.

San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans discussed Aoki’s impact after the team declined his option and expressed interest in bringing him back.

“It’s been something we’ve processed in a lot of discussions in our offseason meetings,” said Evans, per the San Jose Mercury NewsAndrew Baggarly. “He got hurt before the break that prevented him from being an All-Star. He was a big part of igniting our offense early in the season and played a significant role.”

Unfortunately for the Giants, the Mariners stepped in and were willing to pay Aoki a little more.

If Seattle is getting the Aoki from the first half of last season, it is going to have a legitimate everyday starter who knows how to get on base and provides exceptional defense.

Aoki’s speed makes him a threat to steal on the basepaths and aids his range in the outfield, where he can play all three positions. He still has impressive acceleration considering the excellent career he carved out in his native Japan before coming stateside in 2012.

As a member of three different teams in four MLB seasons, it has to be a bit of a challenge for Aoki to pick up and move again.

San Francisco made a bold move by not landing Aoki on its initial option. Such a tactic may come back to bite the Giants as they seek to return to the postseason after missing the playoffs in defense of their 2014 World Series title.

This latest change of scenery may be what Aoki needs as he seeks to make his mark in the MLB.

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Steve Clevenger to Mariners: Latest Trade Details and Scouting Report

In a deal that sent Mark Trumbo to the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners acquired utility man Steve Clevenger on Tuesday, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman

Clevenger, a five-year veteran, has seen limited playing time with the Chicago Cubs and Orioles, having played in no more than 69 games in a single season. 

The Mariners dealt Trumbo after he struggled to regain his play from 2012 and 2013, when he hit 32 and 34 home runs, respectively. He had 22 last year, which is still productive, leading CSN’s Rob Carlin to ponder this:    

But Clevenger has spent most of his time as a designated hitter and catcher, a position the Mariners have needed some help with as of late. Last season, Seattle’s main pair of catchers, Mike Zunino and Jesus Sucre, both batted under .175. 

His .314 on-base percentage is also an improvement, as Zunino and Sucre were both .230 or under.

While he played in just 30 games in 2014, Clevenger batted .287, a drastic improvement in that respect. Providing a left-handed bat off of the bench will also be helpful. The Mariners had five starters bat left-handed but didn’t have any in reserve after the team traded Dustin Ackley to the New York Yankees

According to the News Tribune‘s Bob Dutton, Clevenger is not eligible for arbitration this season and is set to make around $520,000. He won’t be providing too big of a hit in the Mariners’ wallet, but if Trumbo flourishes in Baltimore while Clevenger remains a utility man with limited playing time, this deal could turn out to be a tough one for Seattle. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Robinson Cano Is Still Good, but His $240M Megadeal Is Becoming an Albatross

From the sound of things, you’d think Robinson Cano is the worst baseball player, the biggest whiner and the most despicable human being ever.

In reality, he’s not that bad of a guy. Or that bad of a player, really.

But if ever there was a time to acknowledge the honeymoon phase of his 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners is over, it sure seems like now.

At present, there’s plenty of bad noise about Cano out there. Most of it stems from recently fired Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke, who went on a St. Louis radio show last Thursday and portrayed Cano as a blight on the Mariners, Major League Baseball and planet earth.

Mercifully, many have come to Cano’s defense. Among those is now-former Mariners third base coach Rich Donnelly, who spoke to John Harper of the New York Daily News. Donnelly said he was “shocked” to hear of Van Slyke’s comments and proceeded to do Cano several solids.

Nobody cares about that part, though.

The part of Harper’s article that made headlines is his report of a conversation with a longtime friend of Cano’s who claimed the former New York Yankee is “not happy in Seattle, especially with a new regime in charge there now, and that he’d love to somehow find his way back to New York.”

So, yeah. Hence the appearance of Cano being the worst baseball player ever, the biggest whiner ever and the most despicable human being ever.

One doesn’t want to pile on. One would much rather offer a spirited defense of Cano. One would love to argue his redemption is just around the corner.

But sadly, one can’t really do that. Knowing where Cano’s career is at now, silencing the critics and doubters is going to be an uphill battle now and forever.

We can give Cano this much credit: He’s coming off a 2015 season that wasn’t nearly as bad as all the noise would lead you to believe.

Cano played in 156 games and hit .287 with a .779 OPS and 21 home runs. Sure, it was a down year relative to his previous standards—he entered 2015 as a .310 career hitter with an .857 career OPS—but Cano still qualified as an easily above-average hitter.

And he had a pretty good excuse for having a down year.

As Cano told Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today in July, he entered 2015 still dealing with the effects of a stomach problem he had first started experiencing in August 2014. He claimed it robbed him of his energy, something Donnelly was quick to back up.

“He was dealing with some physical issues, and a lot of guys would have cashed it in,” Donnelly told Harper. “He worked his tail off to get back to where he wanted to be.”

As bad as those issues were, the worst appears to be behind Cano. He got his bearings at the plate in June and held on to them for the final four months of the season.

As a result, the three months in which he was most heavily afflicted by his stomach issues now look like an isolated slump rather than the start of a decline:

For three months there, Cano was not himself. But on either side of that slump, the Mariners pretty much got exactly the hitter they paid $240 million for two winters ago. His hitting hasn’t declined as sharply as his subpar 2015 numbers would indicate.

But lest anyone get too excited, of this there can be no doubt: Cano’s bat hasn’t disappeared, but it is declining.

Though Cano’s numbers on either side of his recent slump look good, it stands out that his slugging doesn’t quite measure up to what he was doing as a Yankee. That’s not all Safeco Field, either.

No, sir. There are some things Cano’s slump doesn’t get wrong about him, including that he’s become more prone to ground balls and soft contact:

By far the most encouraging aspect of Cano’s recent turnaround was how he hit for power. But because he was continuing to hit ground balls and make soft contact more frequently than his vintage self, it’s best to be skeptical about whether he can pick up where he left off.

Elsewhere, one thing that actually got worse was Cano’s strikeout habit.

In the final four months of 2015, Cano struck out in 15.9 percent of his plate appearances. That’s not so bad relative to the league’s 20.4 K percentage, but it was worse than the 13.2 K percentage he had during his slump and the 11.8 K percentage he had in his career before then.

In a related story, Cano’s capacity to hit anything thrown his way is slipping. He’s not getting more aggressive, but his ability to make contact outside of the strike zone just took a turn for the worse and, overall, his ability to make contact is declining:

This, along with Cano’s increased tendency for ground balls and soft contact can’t be overlooked.

According to the research Bill Petti posted on FanGraphs, the ability to make contact outside of the zone and contact in general are two skills that start declining once a player gets into his late 20s. Cano managed to buck that trend for a couple of years, but apparently not any longer.

At any rate, here’s the CliffsNotes version: Though Cano isn’t finished as a productive hitter just yet, he neither makes contact nor hits the ball as well as he used to. That’s his age at work, and he’s no more likely to reverse the effects than he is to reverse his age.

Of course, this wouldn’t be as big of a deal if Cano could recoup his waning hitting value on the basepaths or on defense. But…yeah, that’s not happening.

Cano was actually a pretty good baserunner in 2014, stealing 10 bases and posting 1.3 baserunning runs above average. But he was a way-below-average runner in the two years prior to 2014, and that was the case again in 2015. At his age of 33, it’s 2014 that’s clearly the outlier.

As for Cano’s defense, he’s not the worst defensive second baseman ever. But the advanced metrics agree he hasn’t been good in the last two seasons, and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports noted even people within the Mariners were wondering what Cano would look like at first base by the end of 2015.

In his heyday, Cano was an elite offensive and defensive second baseman who could hold his own on the basepaths. He’s now a liability in the latter two departments and moving away from his prime in the former department. As every player must do eventually, we’re looking at Cano entering his twilight.

For the Mariners, this is not a happy thought. They owe Cano $24 million per year for the next eight seasons. FanGraphs’ WAR-based value system says he wasn’t even worth $20 million in 2015. Knowing about the holes in his game, that may be a permanent reality.

If they aren’t already, the Mariners are soon going to find themselves wishing they could move Cano’s contract. But in all likelihood, they’re going to be forced into working around it instead. Like the Yankees have been with Alex Rodriguez and the Los Angeles Angels now are with Albert Pujols, the Mariners are going to be stuck with Cano.

For now, the Mariners can downplay all the bad noise. All the headlines say they have a talentless malcontent on their hands, but they exaggerate.

They just shouldn’t expect this to be the end of the bad noise. It tends to go where the albatrosses go, and that’s what Cano is becoming.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Chris Iannetta to Mariners: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Seattle Mariners announced on Monday they have signed veteran catcher Chris Iannetta to a one-year deal.

Contract terms weren’t disclosed, though Greg Johns of MLB.com indicated it’s a major league deal:

General manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement the Mariners believe Iannetta’s decade of experience will give the clubhouse a veteran presence toward a hopeful playoff run: “This move improves our depth at a critical position. Chris provides us with a solid veteran presence behind the plate, as well as an experienced major league hitter with strong on-base skills who will lengthen our lineup.”

The 32-year-old spent the last four years with the Los Angeles Angels and is coming off a season in which he played just 92 games and batted .188, the second-lowest mark of his career, with 10 home runs and 34 RBI.

Those figures were actually, for the most part, better than the Mariners’ starting catcher last year, Mike Zunino, the team’s third overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Dipoto and Iannetta have a history that dates back to their tenures with the Los Angeles Angels; Dipoto traded for Iannetta when the catcher was playing for the Colorado Rockies.

For Iannetta, this one-year stop in Seattle is probably his last shot to prove his worth in the bigs. The Mariners are coming off a disappointing 76-86 season after missing the playoffs by one game in 2014 and have high expectations for their entire roster in 2016.

The Mariners will be chasing October under first-year manager Scott Servais, one of Dipoto’s products with the Angels.

Servais, Iannetta and the rest of the team will have to overcome the challenges of a formidable American League West, home to the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, who both reached the postseason last year and will assuredly compete again next season.

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Leonys Martin to Mariners in 5-Player Deal: Latest Trade Details, Reaction

After their center fielders finished 26th in WAR in 2015, per FanGraphs, the Seattle Mariners decided to upgrade their available options.

Seattle confirmed it traded pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones and a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers for Leonys Martin and pitcher Anthony Bass on Monday.

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan was the first to report the deal. According to Passan, the Mariners have been looking for a new center fielder early into the offseason and ultimately landed on Martin. Rosenthal provided some more context for the move:

Delino DeShields Jr. had a promising rookie season in 2015, which likely played into Texas’ decision to jettison Martin. The Rangers also have Lewis Brinson waiting in the wings. The 21-year-old hit .332 with 20 home runs and 68 runs batted in while in the minors last year.

Wilhelmsen addresses a bigger need for the Rangers after their relievers posted a combined 4.12 earned run average (24th) and 4.26 FIP (26th), per FanGraphs. Texas learned the value of a good bullpen after surrendering leads in Games 3 and 5 of the American League Division Series.

Wilhelmsen took a slight step backward last year, finishing with a 3.14 ERA, but he should fit perfectly into a setup role for Texas in 2016.

And as good as the 31-year-old right-hander was, Seattle could afford to lose him, especially after it acquired Joaquin Benoit and Nathan Karns in separate deals. ESPN.com’s Tristan H. Cockcroft believes the Mariners got good value in the trade:

Martin is undoubtedly an upgrade over Brad Miller, whom the Mariners traded to the Tampa Bay Rays at the beginning of November.

Sports Illustrated‘s Joe Sheehan likes Martin’s fit in Seattle:

The 27-year-old is unlikely to bring a lot of offense to the Mariners. Martin had a .219/.264/.313 slash line last year while dealing with a wrist injury, and he rarely displayed much power, hitting 20 home runs in 429 games with the Rangers.

Still, between his defense and baserunning, Martin will provide a lot of value to Seattle in 2016, bolstering the team’s playoff hopes next season.

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Scott Servais Reportedly to Be Named Mariners Manager: Latest Details, Reaction

Jerry Dipoto continues to put his stamp on the Seattle Mariners organization, as the new general manager is reportedly set to hire Scott Servais to succeed Lloyd McClendon as manager.  

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times was the first to report Dipoto’s decision to bring in the longtime catcher, who played 11 years in the majors with the Houston AstrosChicago CubsSan Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies. Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed the report.

The 48-year-old Servais has no managerial experience, but he served as Dipoto’s assistant general manager with the Los Angeles Angels from 2011 until Dipoto departed during the 2015 regular season. Servais previously was the senior director of player development for the Texas Rangers.

Dipoto and Servais were teammates with the Rockies in 2000.

Dipoto resigned from his post as Angels GM due in part to a reported power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia, per DiGiovanna. As Dipoto’s right-hand man, most expected Servais to leave the organization this offseason as well, per DiGiovanna.

The M’s hired Dipoto as their general manager in September after firing longtime GM Jack Zduriencik in August.

It didn’t take long for Dipoto to make an impact, as he fired McClendon shortly after accepting his spot in Seattle’s front office.

Former major league infielder Tim Bogar, who also served as an assistant to Dipoto with the Angels, immediately surfaced as the top managerial candidate for the Mariners, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

While Dipoto ultimately decided to hire Servais for the head position, Bogar will still be on Seattle’s staff as the bench coach, per DiGiovanna.

The hiring of Servais as manager may raise some eyebrows due to his recent front-office role, but it certainly isn’t surprising Dipoto chose someone he is on the same page with after what happened with Scioscia.

Seattle hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001, and it was in desperate need of a shakeup. Dipoto has undoubtedly provided that by making a bold move at manager.

The Mariners certainly have the talent to compete for a playoff spot in 2016 and beyond due to the likes of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Felix Hernandez, but it is now up to Servais to make the pieces fit together.


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