Scott Servais Emerging in Mariners Manager Search

brianhelberg
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The Seattle Mariners have reportedly added yet another name to their list of manager candidates. Bob Dutton of The News Tribune wrote on Tuesday morning that Seattle is taking a long look at Scott Servais. Dutton’s source is quoted as saying Servais is “gaining traction” to be the next skipper.

Servais has been the assistant general manager with the Los Angeles Angels since 2011. New Mariners’ GM Jerry Dipoto worked very closely with Servais in shaping the Angels’ roster in recent seasons. Also, Servais and Dipoto were teammates with the Colorado Rockies during the 2000 season.

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The Halos talked to Servais about succeeding Dipoto as GM before hiring Billy Eppler. Prior to Andy McKay being installed as the M’s new farm director, many assumed Servais would fill that role in the Mariners’ front office. However, Servais recently expressed a desire to manage. San Diego has interviewed the 48-year-old for their coaching vacancy, and it appears Seattle will bring him in for a meeting soon.

1988 was a banner year for Scott Servais, as he won a gold medal with Team USA at the Seoul Olympics and was elected by the Houston Astros in the third round of the MLB Draft. Servais made his big league debut in 1991, and served as the Astros’ backup catcher for the next four seasons. He hit .225 with 21 home runs and 106 RBI across 856 at bats with Houston.

Servais was shipped to the Chicago Cubs midway through the 1995 season, and the move was a fruitful one for the veteran catcher. Servais was the starting catcher with Chicago for four seasons in the 90’s. He hit .256 with 36 home runs and 179 RBI across 416 games with the Cubbies. Servais helped lead the Cubs back to the postseason during his final year with Chicago in 1998.

Servais signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants in 1999. He had a very productive season in the city by the bay, hitting .273 with 5 home runs and 21 RBI through 69 games. Despite his solid numbers, the Giants opted not to retain Servais following the ’99 season.

In 2000, the Colorado Rockies inked Servais to a free agent contract. During this time is when Dipoto and Servais played together. After hitting a measly .218 though 33 games with the Rockies, Servais was placed on waivers. The Giants claimed the veteran backstop in August, and Servais hit .250 down the stretch with San Francisco.

Servais latched on with the Houston Astros in 2001. He spent the majority of the season in Triple-A, but did play 11 games and hit .375 with the Astros. Servais played in the Giants and Rockies minor league systems in 2002, but never made it back to the show.

Jerry Dipoto is casting a wide net in his search for the M’s next skipper. Tim Bogar has consistently been considered the favorite, and that perception remains unchanged. However, Alex Cora, Phil Nevin and Charlie Montoyo have all been connected to the job in recent days. News broke on Monday that the Mariners have interviewed Jason Varitek for their manager vacancy.

Scott Servais is obviously a less recognizable name than Varitek or Cora, but he is an intriguing candidate. Servais has ample front office experience, and was considered a very intelligent player during his time in the big leagues. It sounds as though San Diego has legitimate interest in Servais. However, his strong relationship with Jerry Dipoto suggests he would prefer the Mariners job.

I expect Seattle to begin paring down their list of candidates this week, and hire a new manager by end of next week. I would be happy with any of the current names associated to the job right now. However, I think Tim Bogar or Jason Varitek are the best fits for what the Mariners need in 2016.

Next: Mariners Reportedly Set to Hire Andy McKay as Farm Director

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