New Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon began filling in his staff Monday by hiring Trent Jewett to be his bench coach.
Jewett, 49, spent the past three seasons coaching first and third base for the Washington Nationals. He served as a coach under McClendon when McClendon managed the Pittsburgh Pirates a decade ago.
“I’m looking forward to getting the chance to work with Trent again,’’ McClendon said in a release. “We go back a ways as he was on my coaching staff in Pittsburgh and we have a very trusting relationship.’’
Jewett spent 17 seasons as a minor-league manager, a dozen at the Class AAA level.
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“Trent’s extensive background as a minor-league manager, instructor, major-league coach and his 27 years of baseball experience make him a well-rounded fit for this position,’’ general manager Jack Zduriencik said in the release.
Jewett replaces Robby Thompson, fired by the team three weeks ago. Thompson had spent three years serving under manager Eric Wedge, who informed the team at season’s end he would not seek to work beyond his expiring contract.
The Mariners also learned on Monday that slugger Kendrys Morales had chosen not to accept the team’s one-year qualifying offer of $14.1 million. None of the 13 free agents given qualifying offers by their teams accepted.
The Mariners are still free to sign Morales to a free-agent deal, and will get a compensatory draft pick if he leaves for another team.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @gbakermariners. Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners.