Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal dropped a report yesterday that MLB executives are getting sick and tired of waiting for Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, widely expected to be a buyer at the trade deadline, to actually buy something.
The Mariners, just on the edge of contention and with a lot of good young players who could be traded for win-now rentals, haven't done squat, and they're apparently holding up all kinds of other deals. Anonymously, via Rosenthal, those other GMs say dealing with Zduriencik is like dealing with the most annoying person in your fantasy league.
"He has made offers and then pulled back after we have said, 'This is something we would do,"' one executive said. "He responds (by saying) it wasn't an offer and that he will need to discuss it with his guys."
Another executive added, "I don't always get the sense that he knows what he wants to do. One day, he's interested in one thing. The next day, he's interested in another. That's what makes it challenging."
A third executive said, "They (the Mariners) don't set out on a trade saying, 'Here's what we need. Let's do what we can to get him.' They think, 'Who can we give up that will never be any good?' They don't want to give up anyone who will haunt them. That's just flat-out fear."
Zduriencik defended himself and his team's strategy in an email to Rosenthal, saying that he's never retracted an offer, never misled a fellow exec, and that these sore feelings are just a normal part of doing business.
All of which may very well be true! But it was barely seven months ago that we went through something vaguely similar to this, with baseball people running to Ken Rosenthal to complain about Jack Z. In that case, it was disappointment among agents that after splurging on Robinson Cano, the Mariners appeared to be done spending in free agency. (And they turned out to be largely right. The Mariners' only significant signing after landing Cano in early December was closer Fernando Rodney.)
So maybe Rosenthal has managed to find himself baseball's go-to conduit for dumping on Jack Zduriencik. But Occam's razor suggests it's more likely that the Mariners front office is just kind of a mess.