Ten significant moves during Jack Zduriencik’s tenure as Mariners general manager reveal a decided mix of hits and misses
Ten significant moves during Jack Zduriencik’s tenure as Mariners general manager:
1. Signed Russell Branyan as free agent, Dec. 3, 2008. Summary: Thumbs up. For a reported $1.4 million, the Mariners got a 31-homer season from Branyan, helping them go from 101 losses in 2008 to an 85-77 record in ’09.
2. Traded RHP Sean Green, RHP J.J. Putz, OF Jeremy Reed to Mets and IF Luis Valbuena to Indians for OF Franklin Gutierrez, 1B Mike Carp, OF Ezequiel Carrera, OF Endy Chavez, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Aaron Heilman and LHP Jason Vargas, Dec. 11, 2008. Summary: Thumbs up. This was the first trade of Zduriencik’s tenure, and one of his best.
3. Drafted IF/OF Dustin Ackley with second overall pick, June 9, 2009; drafted LHP Danny Hultzen with 2nd overall pick, June 6, 2011; drafted C Mike Zunino with third overall pick, June 4, 2012. Summary: Thumbs down. For a variety of reasons, the Mariners have not gotten the necessary impact from a trio of top-three draft picks.
4. Signed free-agent infielder Chone Figgins, Dec. 8, 2009. Summary: Thumbs down. Figgins’ four-year, $36 million contract was a disaster, and he eventually was released with one year to go in the deal.
5. Traded OF Tyson Gillies, RHP Phillippe Aumont and RHP J.C. Ramirez to Phillies for LHP Cliff Lee, Dec. 16, 2009. Summary: Thumbs up. None of the prospects haunted the Mariners, and Lee gave them a prime trade chip. Theoretically.
6. Traded LHP Cliff Lee and RHP Mark Lowe to Rangers for 1B Justin Smoak, RHP Blake Beavan, RHP Josh Lueke, IF Matt Lawson, July 9, 2010. Summary: Thumbs down. Smoak, the centerpiece of the deal, never developed as hoped, and Lueke’s past legal problems caused the franchise embarrassment.
7. Traded RHP Doug Fister and RHP David Pauley to Tigers for LHP Charlie Furbush, RHP Chance Ruffin, OF Casper Wells, 3B Francisco Martinez, July 30, 2011. Summary: Thumbs down. Furbush was the only incoming player to make an impact, and Fister developed into a consistent winner.
8. Traded RHP Michael Pineda and RHP Jose Campos to Yankees for C Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi, Jan. 23, 2012. Summary: Thumbs down. Like Ackley and Smoak, Montero was a major disappointment on offense and has been moved to first base.
9. Signed 2B Robinson Cano as free agent, Dec. 12, 2013. Summary: Thumbs sideways. Cano was outstanding in 2014 and hugely disappointing for the first half of 2015. Still has eight years left on $240 million contract and turns 33 in October.
10. Signed OF Nelson Cruz as free agent, Dec. 4, 2014. Summary: Thumbs up. Cruz, who signed for $58 million over four years, has been one of the most productive hitters in the majors in 2015.
Honorable mention: Traded C Welington Castillo, RHP Dominic Leone and two prospects for OF Mark Trumbo and LHP Vidal Nuno, June 3, 2015. Summary: Thumbs down. Trumbo has been better of late, and Nuno has been valuable, but Castillo has hit .271 with 15 home runs with Arizona.