There were plenty of questions facing the Seattle Mariners as the 2013 season began. Many have been answered at this point and it’s clear there are still many more that need to be addressed in the coming weeks with regards to the team’s future. Neither GM Jack Zduriencik or manager Eric Wedge are under contract beyond the end of this season, lending to speculation that their futures might be the first question that will need to be tackled.
Zduriencik spoke with ESPN’s Jim Bowden early Sunday, suggesting that he expects that Wedge will return to manager the season in 2014. He refused to comment on his own contract situation, citing organizational policy, despite reports passed on by MLBTR this past month that suggest that his contract has already been extended another season.
Entering play Sunday the Mariners were 62-73, good enough for 4th place in the AL West. Seattle would need to win 13 of their remaining 27 games in order to improve upon their record from the 2012 season – their best finish under Wedge’s watch. Some of the more vocal segments of their fanbase don’t seem to believe that either Zduriencik or Wedge are the best options to lead this team moving forward. Given the young talent within the organization, they’d believed that things would turn around quicker than they have.
There’s certainly still reasons for optimism in Seattle. Kyle Seager broke out with a big season in 2013. Nick Franklin, Brad Miller, and Mike Zunino all made their way into the team’s regular lineup. Even Justin Smoak appeared to finally start to figure things out. Felix Hernandez found a running mate in Hisashi Iwakuma and now Taijuan Walker has stepped into the rotation alongside them. There’s a foundation in place and with the right moves this offseason it’s conceivable to think that the Mariners just might be a team worth watching in 2014. It just remains to be seen if Zduriencik and Wedge are the right men to make those decisions and lead that roster.