The Seattle Mariners and President Kevin Mather announced this afternoon that they have ended their month long search process and found their next General Manager, hiring former reliever and former Angels’ GM Jerry Dipoto to be the ninth full-time GM in club history.
Dipoto – whose official title is Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations, the same as Zduriencik’s was – resigned earlier this year from his post with the Angels following a reported feud with Manager Mike Scioscia that stemmed from their conflicting views of using advanced statistical data. He has since served as a Special Assistant for the Boston Red Sox, who were themselves in a front office transition from Ben Cherington to Dave Dombroski, Mike Hazen and Sam Kennedy. Dipoto, a New Jersey native and 3rd round pick in the 1989 Draft who pitched 495 1/3 big league innings over eight seasons for Colorado, the Mets and Cleveland, comes to the club with the task of delivering results at the big league level while also rebuilding the quality of prospects in the minor leagues.
Dipoto has the background to help the organization make that happen, as he followed up his playing days by working his way through various roles in the front office, starting as a Special Assistant to the GM for Colorado in 2001, then moving into the Red Sox Scouting Department in 2003 and 2004, working as the Rockies Director of Player Personnel in ’05 and ’06, then as the Diamondbacks as Vice President of Player Personnel from 2006 to 2010 before serving as Arizona’s Interim GM for about three months in 2010. He then served in 2011 as the club’s VP of Scouting & Player Development before ultimately landing the Angels GM job in October of 2011. With Anaheim, he signed Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton to deals totaling almost half a billion dollars and had just two 3rd place finishes to show for it before they won an MLB-best 98 games in 2014. The team posted a record of 306-258 (.542) during his tenure.
Under Zduriencik, Seattle had the fifth worst record in the major leagues, posting a .459 winning percentage during his time as the acting GM. But more than the losing at the big league level, the scouting and player development aspects of Zduriencik’s time with the club ultimately didn’t yield the type of results that his prior history hinted at being attainable. Dipoto’s background in scouting, as well as his tendency toward use of analytics and advanced statistics, should give the Mariners a new identity as they move forward trying to end the longest postseason drought in baseball. Mather and the Mariners feel that Jerry's vision is in line with what they want to see from the organization. "During our conversations over the past few weeks, it became clear to me that he has a very solid understanding of our team and organization, both where we are and where we want to be. And he has a strategy to get us there," Mather said.
Seattle reportedly interviewed other candidates for the position – including interim GM Jeff Kingston, Billy Eppler of the Yankees and Dana Brown of the Blue Jays – but Mather said at the time of Zduriencik’s departure that finding a GM who had previous experience was a priority, and Dipoto definitely fits that bill and stands alone among those candidates.
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