Andy McKay on his new role, why Mariners are desirable to free agents

Nov 20, 2021, 1:18 PM
Fans cheer during the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels at T-Mobile Park. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners have announced their 2022 coaching staff and while most of the 2021 crew is back for the upcoming season, two familiar but surprising names will also be in the dugout next year.

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One of those two is Kristopher Negrón, who managed Triple-A Tacoma in 2021 and played for the Mariners as recently as 2018 and 2019. He will coach first base while Perry Hill will now focus on coaching the infield.

The other name? Andy McKay, who has been the Mariners’ director of player development since late-2015, when manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto came to Seattle. McKay will still hold that title within the organization, but he also be in the Mariners’ dugout.

McKay joined Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle on Friday to discuss the new role and more.

“It’s a little bit of a hybrid role,” McKay told Salk. “I’ll still be working kind of throughout the player development system and into the minor leagues, but I’ll be doing it from from Seattle and doing it as a coach with the major league staff trying to help Scott and our players.”

McKay said that the reasoning behind the move was a question more tailored for Dipoto and/or Servais, but he said he’s “thrilled for the opportunity” to be in the dugout.

“I think for the team, it gives me a chance to continue to find ways to have impact and ultimately help us win a baseball game each night and get closer to being in the postseason consistently and and ultimately winning a World Series,” McKay said. “So on a daily basis, it’s just a way to find a way to help our players and help our staff get better and in some form or fashion.”

Why can Seattle land big names?

The Mariners are expected to be a major player this offseason due to them coming off a 90-win season and because they have a lot of payroll flexibility and have a deep prospect pool they can use to add solid contributors via trade.

As far as free agency goes, it takes two to tango, so while the Mariners may be aggressive in their pursuit of free agents, that doesn’t necessarily mean those players are interested in coming to Seattle.

But McKay said he’s not worried about the Mariners being able to get free agents on board with coming to the Pacific Northwest for five reasons.

“One, it’s the city of Seattle. It’s an amazing place. It’s a wonderful place in summer. It’s one of the most popular places for visiting players during the season,” McKay said. “Two, we have one of the best young exciting teams and all of baseball. Three, we have a thriving farm system. Four, we’ve got a great manager in Scott Servais. And five, I would probably our owner, John Stanton, who is so committed to trying to win a World Series and provide that type of experience for our fans.”

Simply put, McKay thinks anyone who joins the team will wind up thrilled with that choice.

“I don’t know that there’s ever been a better time to be a Mariner with all of these things lining up at the same time,” he said. “I think any player who decides to sign with us, they’re going to really be happy with their decision a couple years down the road here.”

Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.

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Andy McKay on his new role, why Mariners are desirable to free agents