Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/21/13
The status of Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik is expected to be updated if not entirely clarified within the next few days and possibly as early as Wednesday people familiar with the situation say. These have been trying times in Seattle. And confusing too. An update might not be a bad idea following a round of reports and rumors only led to more speculation about the contract and job status of Zduriencik whose team is in jeopardy of posting its fourth straight losing season after a surprisingly winning debut 2009 season in which the Mariners improved 24 games to 85 victories. One report Tuesday suggested Zduriencik was quietly given a one-year extension meaning his contract would go through 2014 not 2013 as first believed while a second report suggested that the secret extension was made way back before the season began. Mariners president Chuck Armstrong in a brief phone interview cited club policy in declining to discuss the team's GM situation generally. When confronted specifically regarding a rumor circulating that there could be interest in Yankees GM Brian Cashman should there be a GM change in Seattle Armstrong offered praise of Cashman but stopped well short of talking about Cashman in that context. Armstrong reached in Oakland late Tuesday afternoon there responded to rumors circulating suggesting Zduriencik could be on the hot seat telling CBSSports.com "It's just not our policy -- I know some teams will talk about it -- we just don't talk about contractual situations. Except I can assure you we haven't had conversations with anybody about changing GMs. Jack's our GM and it's a situation where we're finishing the season. Jack's our GM until he's not our GM." Even if a change is made ultimately Armstrong understands any warm personal feelings regarding Cashman very likely wouldn't matter anyway as Cashman is under contract for another year with the Yankees. Armstrong also revealed that a previous attempt to interview Cashman while he was under contract was declined by the Yankees as was their right. As for word that Armstrong likes Cashman well Armstrong confirmed that much by phone – not that it matters seeing how such a scenario would appear to be the longest of long shots. "I'm a fan of Brian Cashman. We're both Kentucky guys. He's an astute baseball man and I like him very much" Armstrong said revealing that he'd asked permission to interview Cashman before he hired Zduriencik five years ago. Cashman in any case is said by friends unwilling by his nature to try to break any current contract and wholly uninterested in leaving New York assuming the Yankees don't have any desire to release him a year early from his contract -- and they apparently do not. A Yankees-connected person called Cashman's job "secure" with the Yankees despite an atypically rocky 2013 season. Cashman declined comment abut the Mariners when reached by phone. Should Zduriencik be kept only through 2014 to fulfill his current contract Cashman's contract would be up then. However he has important family reasons to want to remain in New York beyond his obvious loyalty to the Yankees where he started as a low-level office worker in the late 1980s. While Cashman has differed with his bosses at a couple key junctures this season with a couple of those differences becoming public neither side seems anxious to sever an overwhelmingly positive longstanding relationship that's had its moments lately. The Yankees have averaged 97 wins while winning five World Series title the last 17 years with Cashman as GM the last 15 of those years.
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