Mariners Set to Hire Scott Servais as their new Manager
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Seattle Mariners have hired Scott Servais to serve as the club’s manager in 2016. Servais’ name has been connected to the M’s for a few days now, but the momentum really picked up on Thursday night.
Before jumping ship to the Mariners, Servais was 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.
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 with the Mariners. However, Servais recently expressed a desire to manage. San Diego was said to have interest in the 48-year-old, but the familiarity of the Mariners’ front office proved too tempting to pass up.
1988 was a banner year for Scott Servais, as he won a gold medal with Team USA at the Seoul Olympics and was selected 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.
Scott Servais is obviously a less recognizable name than some of the other candidates Dipoto interviewed, but he makes for an intriguing hire. Servais has no managerial experience, but he has spent a number of years working in the front office. He was also considered a very intelligent player during his time in the big leagues.
Sep 9, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar (27) looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Mariners showed strong interest in Tim Bogar throughout the process, and they are reportedly set to bring Bogar on board as their bench coach. The 48-year-old former infielder made stops with the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers during his 9-year big league career. Bogie has spent 6 seasons as a coach in the Major Leagues, and most recently served as a special assistant to the GM with the Angels.
Through five seasons managing in the minor leagues, Bogar sports a record of 362-266 and has won three Manager of the Year awards. His impressive resume caught the attention of the Texas Rangers in 2013. Ron Washington hired Bogar to be the club’s bench coach. After Washington was fired in early September, Bogar took over as the interim manager. The Rangers closed out the season with a 14-8 record under Bogie’s command.
Jerry Dipoto’s strained relationship with Mike Scioscia in Anaheim likely swayed him to hire people he is familiar with and can trust. Both Servais and Bogar have good working relationships with Dipoto, and should form a solid team in Seattle.
With the Toronto Blue Jays gracing the postseason this year, the Mariners now own the longest playoff drought in the Major Leagues. Seattle has not made the playoffs since 2001, but the talent is here to get there next season. A lot will be asked of Dipoto and Servais, and hopefully they can work together to finally get the M’s over the hump.
The Mariners are expected to officially announce the hiring of Scott Servais and Tim Bogar on Friday afternoon. An introductory press conference will likely take place on Monday at Safeco Field.
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