MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight year, the Brewers appear at risk of losing their highly regarded scouting director. Jack Zduriencik, Milwaukee's amateur scouting boss since 2000, is among four finalists to be the Seattle Mariners' next general manager, according to a report in the Seattle Times. Zduriencik was also a finalist last year to be Pittsburgh's GM before that job went to Neal Huntington. According to the newspaper report, the Mariners' other finalists are D-backs farm director Jerry DiPoto, Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava and Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng. The quartet was reportedly called back to Seattle for another round of interviews.
Zduriencik, pronounced "zur-EN-sick," was not available Thursday to talk about his interest in the Seattle job, but he has said in the past that his goal is to be a big league GM. Zduriencik, who turns 58 on Jan. 11, was among only a handful of Brewers baseball operations officials who survived the club's September 2002 front office shakeup -- assistant scouting director Tom Flanagan and assistant farm director Scott Martens were among the others -- and that decision has paid dividends. Six of the Brewers' eight positional starters on 2008 Opening Day were drafted during Zdurencik's tenure in Milwaukee, including former first-rounders Ryan Braun (2005), Prince Fielder (2002) and Rickie Weeks (2003). Make it seven of eight if you include catcher Jason Kendall, who was the Pirates' first-round selection in 1992 when Zduriencik was Pittsburgh's scouting director. The Brewers added "special assistant to the general manager" to Zduriencik's job title in January, several months after he was named Baseball America's Executive of the Year. Zduriencik was the first non-GM bestowed that honor. Brewers GM Doug Melvin has not returned phone calls from MLB.com since the end of the season, but he would have had to grant the Mariners permission to interview Zduriencik. Melvin reportedly has been in Phoenix exploring managerial candidates, including Dale Sveum, who led the Brewers for the final 12 regular-season and four postseason games in 2008. Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he would "probably talk to two or three other people, at the most," about the job, and said he had heard from a number of former big league managers.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.