Mariners hire Scott Servais as manager; has never managed
SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Mariners hired former big league catcher Scott Servais as their manager Friday, giving the job to someone with ties to the new front office but no experience running a team.
The 48-year-old Servais replaces Lloyd McClendon, who was fired earlier this month after Seattle went 76-86. Servais will be formally introduced by the team next week.
New Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made the announcement. Servais has worked the past five seasons as an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Angels and worked alongside Dipoto for most of that time. Dipoto resigned as Angels GM on July 1.
Not only did Dipoto and Servais work together with the Angels, they were teammates for one season in Colorado in 2000.
Servais oversaw the Angels’ scouting and player development, and had wanted to be on a major league coaching staff. He joined Dipoto and the Angels in 2011 after spending six seasons as the senior director of player development with Texas. Servais was credited with the growth of slugger Nelson Cruz during the time together with the Rangers – Cruz now plays for Seattle.
Servais spent time with Houston, the Cubs and San Francisco during his playing career. He hit .245 with 63 home runs and 319 RBIs in 820 career games. Servais served as a catching instructor for the Cubs for two seasons after retiring and was a scout in Colorado before joining the Rangers front office in 2005.
The hiring makes Servais the 10th full-time and interim manager for the Mariners since the club’s last playoff appearance in 2001.
McClendon lasted two seasons. After a promising first year when the Mariners won 87 games and missed the postseason by one game, Seattle finished 10 games under .500 this year and in fourth place in the AL West despite the likes of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Cruz.
The regression led to the firing of general manager Jack Zduriencik in late August and ultimately a change on the bench with Dipoto deciding to bring in his own manager, rather than keep McClendon around under the final year of his original contract.
McClendon was fired on Oct. 9, less than a week after the regular season ended. Dipoto went out of his way to praise McClendon but ultimately wanted the power to pick who he would work with going forward.
Seattle also reportedly interviewed Angels’ special assistant Tim Bogar, Tampa Bay third base coach Charlie Montoyo and former Boston catcher Jason Varitek for the managerial position.
There is a chance Bogar will join Servais’ staff, possibly as bench coach. Bogar was the interim manager for Texas at the end of the 2014 season and was a favorite to get the job full-time but the position went to Jeff Banister. Texas won the AL West in Banister’s first season.