Mariners Notebook: Andy McKay named assistant GM; dates to watch
The Mariners did not have to go far to fill the vacancy created when Justin Hollander was named general manager earlier this fall. On Wednesday, the team announced senior director of player development Andy McKay has been promoted to assistant general manager.
McKay was Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto’s first major hire after becoming the team’s GM in late September 2015. While Dipoto had much history with Scott Servais, who was named manager later that fall, he and McKay had only met for the first time when McKay interviewed to become the director of player development.
McKay had spent the previous four years as the peak performance coordinator with the Colorado Rockies, and before that he had served as head coach at Sacramento City College for 14 seasons and managed in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball wooden bat league. McKay’s coaching skills along with a mental skills background proved to be the perfect tools to rebuild a farm system.
“It would be impossible to overstate the impact Andy has made for the Mariners over the past seven years,” Dipoto said in the press release announcing McKay’s promotion. “His knack for identifying difference-making people and cultivating learning environments has been a hallmark of our system since his arrival. His competitiveness, creativity, thirst to learn, talent to teach and a feel for baseball strategies will continue to challenge all of us to improve and grow.”
With the Mariners, McKay has implemented programs and systems across the minors that have resulted in the organization now being regarded as one of the top minor league systems in the game. Prior to the 2022 season, the farm system was ranked as the best in the game by Baseball America.
As assistant GM, McKay will oversee baseball development at all levels including player and staff development, mental skills, and education programs across the organization. He will also oversee the new director of player development and help advise in roster building, as well as installation of Seattle’s systems and programs on all levels.
• In his tenure with the Mariners, McKay has stressed the importance of developing and coaching coaches, and as a result many have been promoted to the big leagues both with the Mariners and other teams. The latest? Tuesday afternoon the Reds announced they have hired Collin Cowgill, who has been manager of Double-A Arkansas in the Mariners’ system the past two seasons, to be their first base coach.
• The Trevor Gott signing was officially announced Wednesday afternoon after the veteran reliever passed his physical. Gott, who is first-year arbitration eligible, has agreed to a $1.2 million dollar contract for 2022, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. We will have more on Gott and the Mariners bullpen on our Talking Mariners podcast coming out Thursday afternoon.
• Mark your baseball calendars…We may have new Hall of Famers on Sunday as the new Contemporary Baseball Era Committee will vote on an eight-player ballot for election that includes Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. Voting results will be announced at 2 p.m. on the MLB Network.
• The Hall of Game voting will kick off the MLB winter meetings in San Diego. This year, a new event will take place as baseball will hold its first ever draft lottery, which is set for Tuesday. As a refresher, the lottery was part of the new collective bargaining agreement between the league and MLBPA. The first six picks of the 2023 MLB Draft will be determined by a draw, with the 18 teams that did not make the postseason all eligible. Odds will be assigned to these teams in reverse order of winning percentage with the first six draft spots up for grabs. The 12 playoff teams’ selections will fall in spots 19-30, with the Mariners picking 23rd.