The Mariners named Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais their manager Friday. They also are expected to name Tim Bogar bench coach.
The Seattle Mariners have settled on their manager for the 2016 season and beyond.
The Mariners named former Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais their manager Friday.
“Through the course of the 20-plus years I’ve known Scott, I’ve come to see him as one of the most complete, well balanced and inclusive baseball people in the industry,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “I’ve been fortunate enough to call him a teammate as a player, while also having worked closely with him as an organizational leader in both Colorado and Los Angeles. He is a communicator with strong baseball acumen and leadership skills. I truly believe his strong character and career experiences as a player, coach and executive have prepared him for this opportunity.”
Servais is the Mariners’ 17th full-time manager. He will be introduced Monday during a news conference at Safeco Field.
“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to manage the Seattle Mariners,” Servais said in the team statement. “It has long been my goal to manage a big league team and while I took a slightly different path than many, I am confident in my ability to lead. We have a terrific core of players and I’m looking forward to bringing in a coaching staff that will help me establish a winning culture here as we work toward putting a championship-caliber team on the field for the fans of the Northwest.”
The Mariners also will name Tim Bogar bench coach, according to baseball sources.
Servais and Bogar, both 48, are close with Dipoto, serving as his assistants with the Los Angeles Angels this season. Dipoto and Servais played together with the Colorado Rockies in 2000.
That prior relationship likely is key to Dipoto, who at times clashed with manager Mike Scioscia during his time in Anaheim. Disagreements over the use of advanced analytics led to a power struggle between the two men, and owner Arte Moreno ultimately took Scioscia’s side. Dipoto resigned in July.
After being hired by the Mariners on Sept. 28, Dipoto was asked about whether he would retain manager Lloyd McClendon. His response was an apparent reference to his situation with Scioscia: “The best marriages are those in which you fall in love and then get married, rather than someone arranging it from 1,000 miles away.”
When Dipoto decided not to retain McClendon, he downplayed that experience as the reason. He cited philosophical differences about baseball as a reason for a change.
Servais is the Mariners’ seventh full-time manager since their most recent playoff appearance in 2001. He inherits a veteran team that fell short of lofty expectations this season, finishing 76-86 this past season. The Mariners return a solid nucleus of players, including pitcher Felix Hernandez, second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Nelson Cruz and third baseman Kyle Seager.
Servais has no managerial experience. He interviewed for the vacant San Diego Padres managerial job a month ago. He’s worked in major-league front offices the past seven years. This past season, he worked closely with Dipoto in Anaheim, overseeing scouting and player development while trying to shape the philosophy of the organization.
Before that, Servais worked for six seasons (2006-11) as senior director of player development for the Texas Rangers. He was responsible for the on-field development in the minor-league system and worked with the team’s major-league catchers.
After deciding not to bring back McClendon, who was under contract for this season, Dipoto said that finding someone with managerial experience wasn’t a priority in his search.
“Baseball experience counts for a lot no matter where they came through,” he said. “I think having a major-league background somewhat, whether it be through coaching, managing, playing, etc., is important. I think that lends to credibility in a clubhouse, but other than that it’s going to be about leadership, about team building, about the ability to inspire an environment.”
The move follows a recent major-league trend in which teams have hired managers with no managing experience. That includes the St. Louis Cardinals’ Mike Matheny, the Chicago White Sox’s Robin Ventura and the Colorado Rockies’ Walt Weiss.
Bogar had been rumored to be the leading candidate for the manager’s job before Dipoto had even decided not to bring back McClendon.
Bogar was hired as a special assistant to Dipoto by the Angels this season. Before that, Bogar served as bench coach for the Rangers for the 2014 season. He was promoted to interim manager on Sept. 5, 2014 when Rangers manager Ron Washington resigned.
The Rangers went 14-8 with Bogar as manager. Bogar spent four years managing in the minors before gaining big-league coaching experience with the Rays in 2008 under Joe Maddon and then three seasons with the Red Sox staff. He served as manager of the Angels’ affiliate in Class AA in 2013, leading the Arkansas Travelers to 73-66 record. In his five years of managing in the minors, he compiled a 362-266 record.
Scott Servais career
2012-2015: Los Angeles Angels Assistant General Manager, Scouting & Player Development
2006-2011: Texas Rangers Senior Director of Player Development
2005: Colorado Rockies Professional Scout
2003-04: Chicago Cubs Roving Catching Instructor
1991-2001: Played 11 seasons in the Majors with the Houston Astros (1991-95, 2001), Cubs (1995-98), San Francisco Giants (1999-2000) and Colorado Rockies (2000)
1988-91: Played 4 seasons in the Houston Astros minor league system