Can’t say this comes as an extreme shock, but it does rate as considerable news. Mariners vice-president Lee Pelekoudas, who handled interim GM duties for the club last fall, has resigned.
A release put out by the team and statement from Pelekoudas says he is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
“When I joined the Mariners in 1979 I fulfilled a dream of working in Major League Baseball. I deeply appreciate the tremendous opportunity I’ve had to work with some great people in a great city, and appreciate all that it has meant to me and my family for the past 30 years,” Pelekoudas said in the release. “In particular, I want to thank Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong for the confidence they have had in me over the years. I believe the organization is headed in the right direction and know it will be successful. It’s now time to do the next thing.”
Photo Credt: AP
In the same release, Mariners President Chuck Armstrong said: “On behalf of the entire organization, I thank Lee for the many contributions he has made to the Mariners franchise. I have had the chance to work closely with him for most of the past 26 seasons, and I want to wish him and (his wife) Terri all the best in the future.”
The move by Pelekoudas comes a couple of weeks after Mariners assistant GM Jim Na also stepped down.
Such moves are not unheard of in the period after a new regime takes over. Though Pelekoudas was with the team in a variety of roles for three decades — and seen as a loyal company man above allegiance to any regime of the day — he did play an active role in some of the moves made by former GM Bill Bavasi. When Bavasi was fired, Pelekoudas handled the interim GM duties through the July and August trade deadlines last year. In one infamous scenario, he had worked out a deal with the Minnesota Twins to take on all of Jarrod Washburn’s remaining contract — and was to receive a player in return — only to have the trade quashed by Armstrong.
Pelekoudas went on to apply for the GM job, which was eventually awarded to Jack Zduriencik. Soon after that hiring, another long-time executive with the team, vice-president Benny Looper, stepped down rather than accept an assignment to a different post. Looper eventually went on to be hired by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pelekoudas remained with the Mariners, but his role seemed to be less defined than it had been in the past. With no GM opportunity lurking on the horizon, he decided it was time to do something else.