SEATTLE – Eric Wedge told the Seattle Mariners on Friday that he will not return as manager next season, saying it became obvious he did not have a future with the organization.
Wedge will manage the final three games of this season against Oakland before the Mariners begin a search for a new manager.
“It’s got to the point where it’s painfully obvious to me that I just wasn’t going to be able to move forward with this organization,” Wedge said before Friday’s game. “We see things differently and we talked about it but it just got to the point where I couldn’t continue to move forward. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like I could continue to manage here with the circumstances the way they are.”
Wedge was brought in to replace Don Wakamatsu – who was fired during the 2010 season – because of the track record he built in Cleveland, taking the Indians through a rebuilding process and nearly leading them to the World Series. But the rebuilding never seemed to end in Seattle where there was a constant influx of young prospects and some veterans failing to meet expectations.
Seattle, which has never reached the World Series, entered the final weekend 70-89, assured of its fourth straight losing season. General manager Jack Zduriencik said the club had every intention of bringing Wedge back for 2014.
“I was looking forward to having Eric back but through his series of thought processes he decided that this wasn’t going to work,” Zduriencik said.
Wedge indicated the team had approached him last offseason about a one-year extension but he didn’t feel that was a “proper endorsement” when trying to rebuild a team. Wedge complained this week that he felt he was left “hanging out there” by the organization on his status for next year.
Entering Friday night, Seattle was 212-271 with Wedge in charge. He was the seventh manager – or interim manager – for the club since Lou Piniella left after the 2002 season.
Wedge said his decision was not health related.