Here is a little more background on Pelekoudas, who was the frontrunner for the position, though that may have changed:
His current job title is Vice President of Baseball Administration. He has been the economic/contract guy under Gillick’s reign. Roger Jongewaard, who most likely will not be back next year either, was the player development/evaluation guy. Pelekoudas just finished his 24th season with the Mariners, and has served in a variety of roles. He has held his current position since 1997. In essence, he has been the financial right arm of Pat Gillick. And if Pat Gillick had a weakness, it was certainly in his budgeting. Most early signs pointed to Pelekoudas as the guy, but conflicting reports put that to question.
You can cross Paul DePodesta off the list. The Mariners won’t consider him, and I doubt he would take this job if offered to him.
My number one choice is Chris Antonetti, currently the Assistant General Manager for the Cleveland Indians, having been promoted from director of major league operations last year. Antonetti will be classified with the Billy Beane/J.P. Ricciardi/Theo Epstein grouping, but there are some important differences. Antonetti never played professional baseball, instead being educated at Georgetown and then receiving his MBA at the University of Massachusets. He interned with the Montreal Expos before working his way up the ladder in Cleveland. He has a strong knowledge of statistical analysis and has been in charge of overseeing the transformation of the Indians into an organization that makes use of historical information. However, he has also worked closely with the player development side, which the Indians excel at, and is not a revolutionary who will come in and fire all the scouts. He is a well spoken man who can articulate his thoughts, avoiding the worry of a Dan Duquette-like mutiny. The Indians have built a player development machine under the Shapiro/Antonetti/Huntington regime, and it is only a matter of time before the trainees of Mark Shapiro begin to branch out much like the underlings of John Hart have made their way across baseball.
While he is my choice for the job, it is unlikely that he will be interviewed for the position. He is not a well traveled scout who has spent 20 years in the business. He is just 29 years of age, and there is little question that the M’s will hold that against him. In comparison, Pelekoudas has been with the team since Antonetti was 5. In an organization that so strongly favors loyalty, it will be difficult for someone with as little experience as Antonetti to break through. However, I believe he would implement a much-needed view of the game that this organization lacks with the current front office. Maximization of expenditures isn’t just a wise thing for low-revenue clubs. The Mariners have not done a good job at maximizing their alotted budget by making poor assessments on low-quality players. A new face is needed, one who can make the tough calls and reallocate resources wisely without stripping the farm system barren. Whether it be Antonetti or someone like Tim Purpura (Asst. GM for the Astros), let us hope the Mariners are willing to take a risk on an unexperienced but promising GM like they were with Bob Melvin.
Wheel of GM Candidates! Everyone can play! Mail us your profile request!
I’ll start with the guy I think will get the job, because he’s an organization man and Gillick gets to help choose the next GM, Lee Pelekoudas, and another guy I see in the email queue a lot, Paul DePodesta.
Lee Pelekoudas is a generic GM. I don’t know that much about him except from hearing about trades he’s tried to negotiate, which all seemed… kind of dumb, like many of the Gillick deals that got rumored, where the team (for instance) doesn’t manage to get Aaron Boone because the other guys wouldn’t give on wanting Aaron Taylor or something. He’s an organization man, when he’s talked to the press he hasn’t said anything terrible or insightful. I know that’s a lot of no-insight, but there you go. I think he’d be a generic GM.
Paul DePodesta is another name thrown around a lot, but he’s comfortable in Oakland and he and Beane know they’re a much better team than either of them would be if they had to go it alone. DePodesta’s going to wait for a dream job, and stepping into the M’s job with our ownership issues and Lincoln around is not that job. He’s a real stat dude, into drafting more college guys (which the M’s as an organization don’t like at all), and bright. No chance.
Coming up: Kim Ng, Oscar Minaya, and much, much more.
We have received word that Pat Gillick has stepped away from his post as General Manger. I will reserve my glee until I hear that he is not in charge of picking his own replacement, as is currently rumored.