The Mariners have already extended general manager Jack Zduriencik through 2014, according to sources of Ryan Divish of the News Tribune, who says the deal may have been struck before the season. Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle writes that multiple sources confirm the one-year extension.
Zduriencik has been at the helm in Seattle since 2009, but his most recent deal was set to expire after this season. He declined to comment on his contract situation, telling Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that team chairman Howard Lincoln or president Chuck Armstrong "would be the ones to announce something like that, if there's any truth to it." Armstrong also refused comment, Baker tweets, citing club policy. While we still do not have official acknowledgement, however, all signs point to a return for Jack Z.
While the M's have yet to post a winning season under Zduriencik since his first year in charge, and have scuffled for most of 2013, there have been signs of promise. Seattle's young position players — including three of the first players Zduriencik drafted (Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin, and Kyle Seager) — have taken on prominent roles across the diamond, with varying degrees of success. Perhaps most encouraging, first baseman Justin Smoak, who headlined the haul Zduriencik returned for ace Cliff Lee back in 2010, has posted by far his best big league season. With the club's top pitching prospects knocking on the door in the upper minors, it appears that Zduriencik will have at least one more chance to turn out a winner.