The Seattle Mariners announced Wednesday a promotion for general manager Jerry Dipoto (to “president of baseball operations”) and multi-year contract extensions for both Dipoto and manager Scott Servais.
Dipoto, originally hired by the Mariners in September 2015, has Seattle on pace for its third winning season in six attempts. The Mariners, who have the longest playoff drought in all of Major League Baseball (having not made the postseason since 2001), entered Wednesday 3 1/2 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the hunt for the American League’s second wild card spot. The Mariners also trail the Oakland Athletics, suggesting their path is more complicated than it seems otherwise.
Prior to joining the Mariners, Dipoto had served as an interim general manager with the Arizona Diamondbacks and then as the full-time GM with the Los Angeles Angels for most of four years. (Dipoto resigned in 2015 after a power struggle with then-Angels skipper Mike Scioscia.)
It’s unclear if the Mariners intend to hire or appoint a general manager, the way that most teams who employ the “president of baseball operations” role do.
“Jerry is a creative, passionate leader with a clear vision for our franchise,” Mariners owner John Stanton said in a team-issued press release. “Following the 2018 season, Jerry came to us with a plan for how to compete for and win championships. He was transparent on the difficulty, but also clear on the goals and milestones. In the two-and-a-half years since, he has led the baseball operations group through challenges on and off the field, while executing on the timeline he laid out.”
Servais, Seattle’s manager since 2016, has accumulated a 419-422 record at the helm. He had no previous managerial experience before being hired.