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MLB Odds – Does M’s’ Dipoto Signing Mean Bye-Bye McClendon?

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in News

Updated Jan 17, 2018 · 9:39 AM PST

The Seattle Mariners announced today that they had signed Jerry Dipoto to be the team’s new general manager. Dipoto, who resigned from his role as GM of the Angels earlier this season, replaces Jack Zduriencik in the post in Seattle.

The M’s have been a massive disappointment this season. They were pegged to win the AL West and potentially contend for a World Series, but have, instead, floundered to a 74-82 record. The hiring of Dipoto – a big sabermetrics guy – only adds to the sense that Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon is coaching his final games at Safeco. When the Zduriencik firing was announced, team president Kevin Mather indicated that the new GM would have final say on whether to hire a new manager.

McClendon isn’t a big analytics guy. Just as he tried to do in LA, Dipoto will likely want to install his own guy on the bench, someone who sees eye-to-eye with his player personnel views, someone who can get a little more out of this roster, and, most importantly, someone not named Mike Scioscia.

McClendon could still prove to be that guy. He doesn’t have the protection from ownership that Scioscia enjoyed and would likely be a lot more flexible in order to save his McClendons. He also led the M’s to an 87-win season just a year ago, so it’s not like he’s been futile on the Seattle bench.

There is also a chance Dipoto brings along someone from the Angels organization with whom he’s already familiar. Having a known entity may be particularly important given how his last job ended. It’s not clear which of the Angels’ coaches sided with Scioscia and which with Dipoto in the fatal power struggle, but Dino Ebel, the Angels’ bench coach, and Don Baylor, the LA hitting coach, could still be on good terms with the former GM.

Promoting from within the Seattle organization seems less likely. Edgar Martinez (the current hitting coach) seems like he’d be pretty old school in terms of analytics, as does bench coach Trent Jewett.

Obviously, Dipoto would love to have a guy like Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who is at the vanguard of pro-analytics managers. Since he can’t have Maddon, himself, Maddon’s right-hand-man Dave Martinez might be the next best thing. If he can’t get Martinez, either, Jim Hickey (pitching coach for the Rays) is another Maddon disciple that would be a good fit.

Tony Defrancesco, formerly the interim manager with the Astros, is a possibility if a bit of a longshot. He’s currently coaching the Astros’ Triple A affiliate in Fresno, but had a long history with the Oakland franchise and should be a strong sabermetrics guy. He also has a winning pedigree, claiming two Triple A national championships. Just a few days ago, the Astros had him join the big league club for its final playoff push.

Odds to be the Mariners’ manager at the start of the 2016 season:

Lloyd McClendon (Mariners’ manager): 3/1

Dave Martinez (Cubs’ bench coach): 4/1

Jim Hickey (Rays’ pitching coach): 15/2

Don Baylor (Angels’ hitting coach): 12/1

Dino Ebel (Angels’ bench coach): 15/1

Edgar Martinez (Mariners’ hitting coach): 19/1

Tony Defrancesco (manager of the Astros’ Triple A affiliate): 50/1

Mike Scioscia: LOL. Like 1,000,000/1


(Photo credit: EricEnfermero (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)

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