Editor’s note: Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik answered questions from readers Wednesday in an exclusive, hourlong online chat, the first of The Seattle Times’ weekly series with local sports newsmakers.
Here are some of the highlights. For the complete chat, go here.
Q: With Kenji Johjima and Rob Johnson at catcher, what are the chances that Adam Moore gets any significant playing time next year?
Jack Z: We have three guys who have done an admirable job. Certainly, Adam opened eyes with his play in September. We were all happy with his progress in AAA. It will certainly be an interesting debate and a position to watch closely in spring training. We’ve said all along we want to create competition, and at this position we have that.
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Q: Will we try to sign Felix Hernandez long-term soon? It seems that if we wait until he’s a free agent we might lose him.
Jack Z: It goes without saying what a tremendous year Felix had and what he means to this ballclub. The reality is we still have Felix under control for two more years. Any time you’re discussing any type of contracts there are three parties — the player, the organization and the agent. What you hope happens is that all three have the same goal.
Q: What is the plan for Dustin Ackley next season?
Jack Z: He has been in Arizona working out with our staff since the beginning of September. He’s made a very nice impression in a short period of time as a hitter, defensively and with his speed. …
We think he will be somewhat of a fast-track player and probably will start the year in AA. …
Q: Many people have credited the clubhouse atmosphere with part of the team’s success this year. Generally speaking, what level of emphasis do you place on player “intangibles” as opposed to measurable performance?
Jack Z: You can win with talent, but you can win big with talent and character. We will continue to emphasize that as an organizational goal.
Q: If Ken Griffey Jr. is willing, are you going to attempt to bring him back next season.
Jack Z.: What Junior brought to this ballclub either met or exceeded our expectations. … Junior was a pleasure to be around. He displayed a tremendous knack for saying the right thing at the right time, and he made it fun for everyone to come to the ballpark.
Q: How big of a role will Bill Hall play next season?
Jack Z: That’s up to Billy. I’ve been with him for 10 years, and I’ve seen the good and the bad. There are adjustments that he’ll have to make and that he and the coaching staff are working on. He’s a great young man who plays hard and leaves it on the field. … The short of it is Billy can be a major contributor to our 2010 success.
Q: Was this your dream job?
Jack Z: The fun here has been the community, the organization and the people that I surround myself with, but most of all the fans. You would be surprised how all of these factors become a source of motivation. .
It is our obligation to deliver to you, the fan, the very best product that we can.
Our goal is to bring a world championship to Seattle, and we intend on doing it.