Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge will not return to the team in 2014, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
#Mariners announce that Wedge has informed the club he will not manage in 2014. Will finish season, contract expires after that.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 27, 2013
Wedge is in the midst of his third consecutive season finishing in fourth-place in the American League West division as skipper for the Mariners, who will miss out on the MLB playoffs for a 12th consecutive campaign.
MLB.com's Greg Johns provides this quote from Mariners general manager Zach Zduriencik:
Zduriencik said Wedge's "job was not in danger" and he would have been asked to return. "This was his choice."— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) September 28, 2013
The Mariners currently stand at 70-89 on the season entering Friday's home game against the Oakland Athletics.
Should the Mariners have retained Eric Wedge if he hadn't decided to leave on his own?
Entering the final three-game homestand with the A's, Wedge's record with the Mariners is 212-271, per Baseball-Reference.com. Seattle has been double-digit games under .500 in each of his three seasons at the helm.
Back in July, Wedge suffered a stroke and missed 28 games before returning on Aug. 23. Thankfully, Wedge's health appears to be fine, but things haven't turned around for the Mariners on the field, where they have gone 10-22 since Wedge's comeback.
There was reason to hope the tide could have turned in Seattle upon Wedge's arrival in 2011. However, the 2007 AL Manager of the Year, formerly of the Cleveland Indians, could never gain any traction in what will be a rather short three-year tenure.
For a team that has a lot of question marks heading into the offseason, finding a new manager appears to be priority No. 1 at this point.