Jack Zduriencik was gracious enough to drive down to Tacoma today to address a gathering of sports editors from the Northwest. I’m not a sports editor, but I was there because I was on a panel, with Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune and Chuck Stark of the Kitsap Sun, discussing how blogging and tweeting relate to the modern world of newspapers. It was a great discussion, but prior to that Jack held court for an hour talking about the state of the Mariners. It was good stuff, and most of it on the record.
One thing Zduriencik said was that he is working the phones trying to improve the club, and I think we can ascertain that the quest is for offensive help. But he said that teams just aren’t yet in the dealing mood, with the analogy being that hunting season — ie, trading season — hasn’t opened yet. Here’s the quote:
“One thing I’d assure you, I’ve made an enormous amount of phone calls. Even during spring training, even up to this point in time, and continue to make phone calls. I’ve made several phone calls over the last three or four days. But it’s like hunting season. We’re not in hunting season right now. What happens, no one is selling. Everyone wants to sit tight and see what their club looks like.
“One thing you have to realize, in today’s game, it’s not so much you’re trading for players. You are. You’re also trading for contracts….When you’re making a move, sometimes it’s contract for contract. When you find a partner you like, then you have to make the dollars and cents work., That ties your hand sometime. Sometimes you can’t get that done. Sometimes you have to get very creative and try to do that. “”
But Zduriencik also added, and I found this quite enlightening: “I expect something to happen. I don’t know when. It might not happen now, it might not happen for a month from now. I’m certainly aware of what our strengths and weaknesses on this club are.”
Zduriencik also had some interesting comments on Ken Griffey Jr. and his future that I’ll post as soon as I transcribe the tape. I want to make sure I have it precisely the way he said it.