TODAY: Seattle officially announced Mather's promotion to the role of president and COO via press release. Meanwhile, the club announced that fellow executive Bob Aylward will take over as Chairman of the Board of NW Sports Net LLC (the club's TV network). Previously, both roles had been under Armstrong's jurisdiction.
Mather said (through the press release) that he will "support Jack Zduriencik as he continues to lead the baseball operation and builds the Mariners both for 2014 and for future seasons." Speaking to reporters later today, Mather said that he views his role as coordinating the business and baseball operations side of the club, Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle tweets. Mather added that the club has enough payroll flexibility to add additional players this offseason, tweets Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.
YESTERDAY: The Mariners are expected to name Kevin Mather as the club's new president, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). Mather will move up from his current position as VP of finance and ballpark operations, taking charge after a long term at the helm for the outgoing Chuck Armstrong.
Mather has held his role since all the way back in 1996, when he came to Seattle from the Twins organization. This 2012 profile from the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin paints Mather as a shrewd businessman who keeps a close eye on the bottom line. According to the piece, Mather oversaw the building of Safeco Field, and since that time has run the facility, handled its lease, and largely controlled the team's finances.
Mather will take over a club that enjoys a substantial new TV deal and a nice home park that he helped to build. One priority could be to improve the team's lagging attendance figures. (Last year, the Mariners were 25th in baseball at getting people in the seats, with a total draw closer to that of the last-place Rays than the 22nd-place Diamondbacks.) With the Seattle president position reportedly set to oversee both business and baseball operations of the club, Mather (along with GM Jack Zduriencik) will be tasked with building a winner in a tough AL West division after spending big money to extend ace Felix Hernandez and making a huge splash by adding superstar Robinson Cano.