Mariners Hire Eric Wedge As Manager

SATURDAY, 5:20pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Wedge will be paid close to $1.9MM per year through the life of the contract. He was likely the Pirates' top choice for their managerial opening as well.

MONDAY, 12:09pm: The Mariners announced Wedge's hiring today, with a press conference to take place tomorrow.  Said Wedge: "With the fan support, the ballpark, the ownership and management, the Mariners are in a great position to be very successful."

FRIDAY, 7:34pm: Wedge's deal is for three years, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

3:45pm: The Mariners will hire Eric Wedge to be the team's next manager, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Wedge, the 2007 manager of the year with the Indians, beat out Bobby Valentine, John Gibbons, Lloyd McClendon, Cecil Cooper and others for the job. The Blue Jays and Pirates were among the teams who were reportedly considering Wedge for their managerial vacancies.

The highlight of Wedge's tenure in Cleveland came back in 2007, when the Tribe made it to the ALCS before losing to Boston. The 42-year-old led the Indians to a 561-573 record in seven seasons. 

Back in April of 2004, the Indians traded Milton Bradley to the Dodgers when it became clear that he was no longer a fit in Cleveland. Wedge perceived a lack of hustle from Bradley, and that perception contributed to the trade. The two will be reunited in Seattle, but Wedge no doubt convinced Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik that his relationship with Bradley will be workable.


68 Responses to Mariners Hire Eric Wedge As Manager Leave a Reply

  1. shockey12 5 years ago

    Awesome!

    Now I don’t have to worry about the Jays getting him

    • Hermie13 5 years ago

      I think there should be much rejoicing in Toronto, Miami, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee.

      • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

        I know I am. Though I wouldn’t have minded him.

      • patburn 5 years ago

        Wedge wasn’t too bad of a coach. I mean with the terrible Indians owners, what can you expect to do? His star players kept getting traded, so he couldn’t field a competitive team.

        • Patattack 5 years ago

          Actually, he had a few competitive teams. I’ll forgive him for the 2008 season because it was injury ridden, but 2004 was a year that they had a chance to make the playoffs, and they started out very poor. In 2009 (a team that had stars like Lee and Martinez), he led them to a 90 loss season, the majority with their stars, which is why they got traded, since they obviously needed to rebuild in order to compete in the forseeable future.

          He also didn’t maximize the talent of some of his players, like Ryan Ludwick, Brandon Phillips, and Josh Barfield (that may be a stretch). Basically, he just didn’t get the most out of his players.

          However, Wedge is a great person, and I really do wish him the best out in Seattle.

          • Hubbs2 5 years ago

            Cause he was to blame for the power outage in ’09? Not one guy slugged above .500 and only one even above .470. Not to mention anybody not named Cliff Lee, who wasn’t even all that good that year, or Kerry Wood were lucky to be considered major leaguers.
            He was terrible to let go of Ludwick after he had a .300 OBP, and I know he’s an idiot because the GM wanted to trade three future all stars for Colon. Barfield, really?? He had one average year in SD. Not to mention Martinez didnt even play 100 games that year, was that his fault too?

          • Patattack 5 years ago

            First off, I never once said the Wedge was “terrible” or an “idiot” like you’re implying, so please don’t put words in my mouth, because I think he has a great baseball IQ, and will hopefully learn from his mistakes.

            Secondly, the 2009 team was predicted by many people to win the division, given their strong play from other players when the key guys went down in 2008. With an offense of Sizemore, Cabrera, Choo, Victor, Hafner, Garko, Peralta, DeRosa, and Fransisco, it looked promising for hitting (by the way, which one of these guys weren’t considered major leaguers?). The bullpen was predicted to be one of the best in baseball. Also, if Cliff Lee wasn’t good that year, doesn’t that explain not getting the best out of his players? And did you notice that his team quit trying for him in JUNE of that year?

            You proved my point about Ludwick, too. If he had such a terrible OBP with Wedge managing him, why did he have great success under Tony LaRussa (.996 OPS in ’08). And what does the Bartolo Colon remark have on anything relating to Wedge? Charlie Manuel was the manager then. The only way that could be good for anything is to show that he didn’t win with all-star caliber players acquired in that trade.

            And if you read the comment about Barfield, you would have seen that I said it was a stretch, but giving his success as a rookie, he had success. Same with the Victor comment. You would have seen that I said that I forgave Wedge for the 2008 season, but I was talking about 2004, where Victor played in 141 games, and in 2009, where he played 155. So, with that said, he did not get the best out his players.

          • Josh Barfield? Yeah that is a streach…

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Take him, we want Donny Baylor.

    • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

      That was my thought exactly!

    • Backup_Slider 5 years ago

      The downside could be that the Jays will get Milton Bradley instead – be careful what you rejoice over.

      • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

        How do you figure that?! The Jays don’t need, and won’t be getting, another outfielder unless something drastic happens.

  2. Hermie13 5 years ago

    Makes sense. I mean…..last time they hired a fired Indians manager it worked out so well…..lol

  3. iains 5 years ago

    Yup, scratch Wedge from AA’s list.

  4. Tko11 5 years ago

    This was definitely not the best choice….

  5. valentine looks stupid for turning the marlins down now.

    • icedrake523 5 years ago

      No, he doesn’t. He was probably ticked off at the snafu during the season and then whatever happened in his recent interview. I’m positive the Mets gig has always been #1 on his list anyway. Even if he doesn’t get a managerial position, working for ESPN isn’t a bad job and managers are fired every single year so there will be more opportunities. Besides, it’s the Marlins, a franchise that’s not committed to winning.

      • I’d have to think Valentine is the frontrunner for the Mets job especially if Alderson gets the GM position

  6. Good.
    Ryno
    4 CHC
    manager

  7. Chris_RG 5 years ago

    Eric Wedge? *yawn*

  8. studio179 5 years ago

    Milton Bradley has to like this move.

  9. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    I think this is kind of a meh move.

    I don’t think Eric Wedge is the worst choice here; I’m just not sure he’s the best one either. I also don’t think Eric Wedge is a stupid man. It is quite possible he’s learned something from some of his mistakes in Cleveland.

  10. unbiasedhomer 5 years ago

    (insert Price is Right losing horns here)

  11. O971 5 years ago

    “The two will be reunited in Seattle, but Wedge no doubt convinced Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik that his relationship with Bradley will be workable.”

    Because Bradley’s .641 OPS is so important to the Mariners “offense.”

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      compared to every other Mariners’ OPS’, yeah he is a big part of their offense.

    • I could see Bradley have a decent comeback year. He didn’t really have personal issues, but was terrible. Maybe he can’t be both happy and play good.

      And anyways, there’s the off-season now, so we can make some changes for our future.

      • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

        Bradley got professional help for his issues, right? So if Seattle is keeping Bradley around, maybe they need some sort of preemptive strike, you know, like actually have Wedge and Bradley have a sit down, with Jack Z. included, if they feel it’s necessary.Bradley did struggle with a bad knee most of the season, resulting in surgery. Might explain some of the poor performance. But Seattle had to know that old Milton and the DL are very well acquainted when they acquired him, right?

  12. Eric 5 years ago

    So.. Eric Wedge and Carl Willis reunion in Seattle?

    I don’t dislike the move, but I was rooting for the M’s to pick up Valentine. It could have been much worse (Cecil Cooper).

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

      I did not realize that Willis was the M’s pitching coach. They worked pretty well together in Cleveland, so that’s a plus.

    • MadisonMariner 5 years ago

      “I don’t dislike the move, but I was rooting for the M’s to pick up Valentine.”

      You were actually rooting for Valentine? Really? Why?

      Valentine is not what most teams in MLB that are looking for a manager need right now, to be honest. He’s more name recognition than anything, and his style and personality would cause clashes between himself and most GMs/front offices. That would be especially true in Seattle, where Jack Zduriencik and his staff have been rebuilding since late 2008 with a better focus on stats and a “saber” oriented approach.

      Of those who allegedly interviewed for the vacant M’s job, Wedge was the best choice, IMO. I would’ve liked it if Ted Simmons had gotten an interview–I believe he has the stuff to be a good manager, but he’s also older now(over 60) and who knows how he would do with a youth movement on any team.

  13. Gumby65 5 years ago

    WOW (MB instantly takes 3 steps back in recovery).

  14. this was an AWFUL choice by the Mariners.

  15. JACKY Z NEEDS TO GET CANNED!!!

  16. BK 5 years ago

    Its not that it is a bad choice, it is that with so many good managers still without jobs (baylor, valentine, roenicke..etc) why pull the trigger on Wedge so quickly?

    • Eric 5 years ago

      The Mariners wanted an experienced Manager. Valentine doesn’t appear to be inclined to manage for just any team. And apparently Wedge was impressive in his interview..

    • bobbybaseball 5 years ago

      How is Baylor a good manager?

  17. Montero1220 5 years ago

    Jack Z! First choosing the Smoak-Texas package over the Montero-Yankee package, then trading the firethrowing Brandon Morrow, and now this! You’re killin’ me Jack, you’re killin’ me!

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      Oh by the way, I would just like to thank the Mariners organization again for trading Brandon Morrow to us.

      • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

        Yeah, me too. I’m not particularly a Jays fan, but I always liked Brandon Morrow. The Mariners treated him like he had cooties or something.

    • crashcameron 5 years ago

      you are chronologically challenged: Smoak-Montero THEN Morrow?

      if not in timing, you’re right about the Morrow trade.
      mistake 1 was even trading him and not giving the guy a true shot. he obviously pissed them off somehow.
      mistake 2, reading the reports about Brandon League’s “great stuff” without seeing what most Blue Jay fans could tell you: he has that knack for getting stuffed into the bleachers at the worst of times (even at a big park like Safeco)
      they should try a CJ Wilson with him and try him as starter

    • MadisonMariner 5 years ago

      Well, first of all, the Smoak package was better. I’d rather have Smoak than Montero, mostly because Montero won’t stick at catcher no matter what you hear on some Yankees’ blog or message board. Meaning he’s stuck as a 1B or DH, and he wouldn’t even be a great defender at 1B. Not to mention his handedness(he hits right handed)would make him less valuable than Smoak(at least in Safeco Field, which favors lefties with power), who hits from both sides. The Morrow trade was unfortunate, but I wouldn’t count on Morrow repeating his 2010 stats every year for the next 5-6 years. He’s still wild, and needs further conditioning/work to become a TOR(top of the rotation) starter. Not to mention needing more work on his secondary pitches. It’s entirely conceivable that the Jays sign him to a 3 or 4 year deal in the next year or two that he never lives up to.I think Jack’s first offseason was outstanding, and his second offseason was just OK(and the second season of his tenure was great, getting a package back for Lee that was better than the one he gave up.) Considering the state of the franchise when he was hired, I’m willing to give him another 2-3 seasons to continue to turn the franchise around. :)

      • Montero1220 5 years ago

        You’re nice for trying to defend Jack Z. However it’s pretty known that he’s on the hot seat and that the Mariner’s front office and fans aren’t too pleased. Anyone can rationalize these moves but that doesn’t stop them from being stupid moves.

        1. Montero is better than Smoak (Higher BA rating! Duh!). He hits for average and power. Smoak is a poor man’s Mark Teixiera. He will probably hit in the .260s and hit about 20HRs in his prime. Montero is projected by most scouts to have a Frank Thomas like career. While most scouts doubt Smoak’s pitch recognition and ability to hit the breaking stuff. And also last time I checked only half the games in a season are played in SafeCo and : Who said a righty can’t hit a HR in SafeCo?

        2. How do you trade a first rounder with loads of talent, who hasn’t had a chance to prove himself, for a washed up set-up man. And I don’t know if you watched Morrow’s starts against the Yankees and Rays because he was ABSOLUTELY DOMINANT!

        3. Chone Figgins? Really? We had our leadoff man in Ichiro. Two leadoff types is just overkill.

        I try to stay as postive as I can but it’s hard. We’re in a division where all the teams around us are getting increasingly better and improved. It seems the only sure thing on the Mariners are Ichiro and King Felix. I think it will take 2-3 years to turn this franchise around. Jack Z is an overrated, pompous idiot.

  18. TeamCropDusters 5 years ago

    Jack Z strikes again!

  19. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    Man, a year ago Jack Z had more fanboys than Justin Bieber. Now he barely has as many supporters as the mosque at Ground Zero.

  20. Umm jeez what a surprise another cheap yes man for Chuck and Howie to bullie.

  21. For the signing that will now kick off the free agent manager carousel, kind of a boring pick. At least Ken Griffey Jr has no reason to be mad anymore.

  22. Ben 5 years ago

    I don’t think that the Mariners made a bad descision. Wedgies’ name is one that I have always wanted to seen given a shot to manage again. If it was not going to be him, then Darren Brown should of been the runner-up. As long as Eric gains respect and control of the younger players, a year or two from now, we should be playing for something meaningful.

  23. hawkny1 5 years ago

    Smart move. Wedge may not get the Mariners back into playoff contention within a season or two but he can certainly restore respectability to that organization’s ability to play on the field. He is knowledgeable and has the experience of his prior mistakes, in Cleveland, to wisely guide him.

  24. woadude 5 years ago

    Why do the Mariners always make the most bone headed moves?

    • otjunk 5 years ago

      I think you’re confusing us for the Royals.

      • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

        Unlike the Mariners the Royals have never had a $100M team lose a 100 games. They’ve never even had a $90M team lose 100 games.

        • Hey atleast there willing to spend the Indians screwed Wedge when they didn’t resign Lee,CC,Martinez instead traded all his star players away. Royals are full of Mariner rejects though.

  25. hawkny1 5 years ago

    MLB Commissioner’s office cannot be too happy about this announcement by the Mariners…..during the playoff/world series season.
    Teams are expected to hold off personnel signings until after the WS has come and gone.

  26. derekbellstutu 5 years ago

    I wonder what direction the Pirates will go now that Wedge is out of the running. I’ve gotta say I’m not too excited about the men they’ve interviewed so far. I’m hoping they’ll wait until after the postseason to name a skipper. That way they’ll have more candidates available to interview. Maybe current Yankees coach Tony Pena would like shot managing the Bucs.

    • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

      I think Pena would be a great choice. The Pirates are a young and inexperienced team with a lot of young tlaent. They can use an ex-player w/ a fiery temper who can teach them the right way to play. Maybe the fact that he was a part of world series championship environment will rub off on the team?

  27. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Said Wedge: “With the fan support, the ballpark, the ownership and management, the Mariners are in a great position to be very successful.”
    ——————-

    Ummm….what about the players?

  28. 95isOver 5 years ago

    Mariner fans are idiots. Valentine is not a better pick than Wedge, in fact the manager does not matter much. What matters is talent on the field. But continue to rage at this choice stupid M’s fans.

  29. bobmac 5 years ago

    Zduriencik like most MLB GM’s was afraid to hire Bobby Valentine although he’s the best manager available.Very weak.

    • The fact of the matter is, as 95isOver said above you, the manager does not matter much. The talent does. Managerial decisions really don’t cost you many Ws or Ls during the year.

      As such, is it smarter to hire an experienced, well-respected manager like Eric Wedge or a superstar manager like Bobby Valentine for millions more?

      I agree with you. Valentine is a better manager. Absolutely. But the difference is not worth the cost in my opinion.

  30. Mick_Stepp 5 years ago

    I’m not a fan of Wedge. He ran Brandon Philips out of Cleveland because he didn’t like him. He valued personal loyalty over talent. Eric Wedge’s Indians always looked tight in the playoffs (i.e. playing not to lose rather than playing to win).

  31. Bernaldo 5 years ago

    Why would Wedge have toconvince anyone that his relationship with Milton Bradley was “workable”? Bradley is a cancer on a team and has no business being on a major league roster until his psychiatric issues are under control. No manager should be told that he has to have a “workable” relationship with a Milton Bradley. Pujols, Sabathia, Mauer, and several dozen other guys yes, the manager must have a “workable” relationship with – but not Milton Bradley!

  32. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    AWESOME. Now he can make them just as medicore as the indians.

  33. good hire

  34. Emanny 5 years ago

    Someone please hire Bob Melvin! I’m tired of hearing his name connected to the Mets.

  35. TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

    Alderson has gone out of the way to sound open minded as to the next manager. However, what everyone says about him is that he prefers a quiet, good-soldier type running the team. That’s not Bobby V, and I don’t think his ego will fit in with Alderson. Not unless his time in Japan has mellowed him considerably.

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