This throws a wrench into things. Shannon Drayer has confirmed Ryan Divish's initial report that indeed, Jack Zduriencik has received an extension through 2014, but she also adds this interesting tidbit.
I am told that Zduriencik's contract was extended before the season. His new deal runs through 2014.
This changes everything. This means that the front office doesn't have some new found confidence in Zduriencik based on how this season has played out. He hasn't been operating as a lame duck, he's been operating under at least some sort of security blanket. The ironic thing is, this means Z's job is less secure than we thought a few hours ago.
This season probably hasn't gone exactly how the Mariners front office wanted it to. They're on pace for the same record as the year before, and while there's been encouraging progress from young talent, there's also been some steps back and busts from those who were supposed to break out. Additionally, the three-headed DH monster hasn't worked out either, and the pitching staff after Iwakuma has been a disappointment as well.
I don't consider Jack Zduriencik's job particularly safe, considering this news. Timing is everything when it comes to contract extensions, and a single year remaining on his deal isn't going to prevent ownership from making a change if they feel it's the right thing to do. Ryan Divish reminded me that Bill Bavasi was fired with a year left on his contract. Multiple others in other organizations have surely been let go with a year or more remaining on their deal.
It's impossible to really tell what the Mariners brass thinks of the job Jack Zduriencik has done this season, and if it has met their standards. We can learn two things from this: Z's extension is not a reflection upon the team's 2013 performance, and we more often than not don't know what the hell goes on behind closed doors.