Marlins dismiss general manager Jennings
MIAMI -- Dan Jennings, who vacated his general manager post in mid-May to manage the Marlins, was dismissed by the organization on Thursday night. Team president David Samson made the announcement, thus ending Jennings' 13-year tenure with the franchise.
The club also announced Michael Hill, already the president of baseball operations, would assume full general manager responsibilities.
"I think it was the right decision to part ways at this time," Samson said. "The conversations I and Michael have had with Dan, I think both of us would agree this is probably the right decision to make. I want to thank [Jennings]. I've worked with him for 13 years. But the ideas that Michael has on how to turn this around are ideas that I think are right."
Jennings, who joined the organization in 2003, was in his second full season as general manager. But after the team decided to relieve Mike Redmond of his managerial duties on May 17, Jennings agreed to take over as manager.
It was an unconventional and surprising move, because Jennings had no previous coaching or managerial experience at the professional level. He inherited a 16-22 team, and Miami finished 71-91. The Marlins played most of the season without their top stars -- Giancarlo Stanton (broken left hand) and Jose Fernandez (recovering from Tommy John surgery). Opening Day starter Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder surgery) made just four starts.
Jennings' status had been unclear since the end of the season. On Oct. 6, the club announced Jennings would not return as manager. At that time, Samson announced Jennings was asked to return as general manager.
Why the change now?
"As I was watching everything develop during the month of October, and all the different things that we were working on, and off the field, the way it was running since the middle of May was probably the way it should continue to run," Samson said.
Samson said the club didn't consider reassigning Jennings, who is under contract throught 2018.
"Because Dan was hired to be the general manager of the team," Samson said. "We felt as though, if we did not want him in that position, then it made sense to just part ways completely."
Jennings had not been involved in any Marlins business since the season ended. The team on Thursday reached agreement with Don Mattingly to take over as manager. An official announcement on Mattingly's hiring is expected after the World Series.
Asked about the manager situation, Hill said Thursday night: "We are working on it."
The Marlins already have reshaped their organization, hiring Marc DelPiano as vice president of player development and Jim Benedict as vice president of pitching development.
Mike Berger, vice president and assistant general manager, and Jeff McAvoy, vice president of player personnel, each are expected to have more input in roster decisions.
"Dan agreed it was a heck of a run," Samson said. "We won a World Series together . We finished in last place together. We had signings that worked, and signings that didn't. It was a heck of a run. But it was time to part ways. I think he understood."