SEATTLE — The Mariners made it official Monday, announcing former Wichita State catcher Eric Wedge as their new manager. Wedge, who received a three-year deal, will be introduced at a Tuesday news conference.
Wedge, who was the American League's manager of the year in 2007, when the Indians came within a victory of the World Series, replaces Daren Brown, who finished the 2010 season as interim manager after Don Wakamatsu was fired on Aug. 9.
The Mariners lost 101 games for the second time in three years and finished last in the AL West for the fifth time in seven years.
The club will be looking to Wedge to help lead the same sort of turnaround he did in Cleveland. Inheriting a rebuilding team, Wedge progressed from 68 wins his first year to 93 his third.
"Eric brings the energy, passion and leadership that we think is important as we move forward," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a news release. "He has a track record of winning at the major-league and minor-league levels. Eric has taken clubs to the playoffs and he has twice won 90 games at the major-league level. As a former manager of the year he has experience working with both veteran and younger players and as we move ahead we look forward to his contributions."
Wedge, 42, had a 561-573 (.495) record in seven seasons with the Indians. Cleveland won 96 games in 2007, tied for most in the majors.
"I think this is a terrific opportunity and I'm excited to be a part of it," Wedge said in the news release. "Seattle is a great city for me and my family. With the fan support, the ballpark, the ownership and management, the Mariners are in a great position to be very successful."
Wedge led the Shockers to the 1989 College World Series championship and played four Major League seasons for Boston and Colorado.