Kevin Mather is taking over as Mariners president in a week, and while it was announced that Chuck Armstrong's roles would be split between Mather and Bob Aylward, it seems Mather will be the one taking over the traditional role of president. Aylward will be focusing on the NW Sports Net as the former moniker ROOT is dead (or dying), and Mather will be holding the purse strings. We already know that Mather had been lauded as a financial guru in his previous role with the team, but had been painted by some as an economizer with a pessimistic brush.
Turns out that might not be the case, if yesterday's initial press conference is any indication. Bob Dutton passes along what Mather spoke to the media about, and while it wasn't exactly Mr. Moneybags, it wasn't anywhere near the miser some feared Mather might be - especially after the cautious words about future moves from Zduriencik that Colin and I heard on Thursday.
While Z indicated to us that "nothing major" was on the way, there remained a strange disconnect between him and Lloyd McClendan, who clearly hinted that more moves were on the way. As Colin said, it really depends on what you define as major, and now the idea of adding a pitcher like Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or even Bronson Arroyo doesn't seem too farfetched.
Via Dutton, here's some quotes from Mather.
Mather said Zduriencik has sufficient financial flexibility to make additional roster additions for the upcoming season.
"That was (the subject of) my meeting this morning (with Zduriencik)," Mather said. "I said, `Where are we? Where are your holes? What are you priorities this off-season? Is there still value out there?"
Mather said Zduriencik sought the flexibility to explore possible additions, and "he does have that." How that money is spent, and if it is spent, will be up to Zduriencik.
"Jack Zduriencik is in charge of the baseball club," Mather emphasized. "I think the president’s role is to provide resources…
Normally, hearing something like this would be very difficult to decipher. Terms like flexibility and resources are frustratingly vague. Are the resources available only enough to add Scott Baker and Oliver Perez, or are they enough to spend $12-14 million a year on a starting pitcher and take on more salary for a bat via trade? Hopefully, it's the latter. This team has a self-imposed win window with a post-prime Cano, and a lot more is needed to get into a contention conversation.
Sorting through stuff like this is generally an exercise in futility, but I'm going to choose to be encouraged. This explicitly states that Z asked for money, and Mather said yes. How much money that is remains to be seen. But if there's one takeaway from Mather's press conference, it's that this team is not done.