The Z Files: Leaked Recordings of Jack Zduriencik’s Trade Talks

jackzzzOver the course of every baseball season, general managers across the major leagues engage in confidential, one-on-one conversations with their constituents. Many of these exchanges take place by phone. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on leaked recordings of trade negotiations between Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and a number of his fellow peers in the industry. The following is a transcript of those recordings.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Dave Stewart, Senior Vice President & General Manager

JACK: “Dave, it’s Jack Zduriencik.”

DAVE: “Oh hey, Jack. What’s going on?”

JACK: “Well, Dave, I’ll be honest with you: I’m calling about a do-over.”

DAVE: “A do-over? What the hell are you talking about?”

JACK: “According to what I read on the internet, a do-over means I can get Welington Castillo and all my prospects back from you in exchange for Mark Trumbo. It says it right there on the internet, I swear to God.”

DAVE: “Right. And is this the first you’ve ever heard about do-overs, Jack?”

JACK: “Noooo… I mean, maybe. But they happen all the time, I’m pretty sure.”

DAVE: “We’re not gonna do a do-over, Jack. Castillo is absolutely killing it for us right now. He’s hitting .287, slugging .521… Christ, he’s got five home runs. The man has been a godsend.”

JACK: “Yes, I know…”

DAVE (chuckling): “I can’t believe you only wanted Trumbo for him! I should have been the one giving you prospects, but hell, you threw those in, too!”

JACK: “Stop it, Dave…”

DAVE (laughing): “I mean, what’s Trumbo hitting for you guys right now? Like, .220? And don’t you have that other kid, Montero or whatever, who can do the exact same things Trumbo does? And now you’ve got a .220 hitter blocking your best player at Triple-A… that is just… oh my god… I can’t even…”

JACK: “Seriously, stop it, Dave.”

DAVE (laughing uncontrollably): “And don’t you need a catcher now, too? Holy shit, you are really up a creek! No one, and I mean no one, is gonna offer you a catcher at fair value. They might do it for a different GM, one they respect. But not you… oh man, this is hilarious, this is just the best thing that’s happened to me in months … A DO-OVER! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

JACK: “Fuck you, Dave.”


Chicago Cubs: Jed Hoyer, General Manager and Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations

JACK: “Theo, Jack Zduriencik here.”

JED: “Oh, heeeeeey Jack. Th-this is actually Jed. How’s it… g-going… over… in your n-ne-neck of the w-w-woods?”

JACK: “Sorry about that, Jed. And honestly, it’s not going too great if I’m being straight with you.”

JED: “Yeeeahhh… that’s what I’ve… heard. S-s-sorry… things… aren’t w-working out.”

JACK: “Jed, are you okay? You sound like you’re having a little trouble, I dunno… talking.”

JED: “Yeeeahhh, about that… you see… I’m not r-really sup-p-p-posed to be… you know… t-talking to anybody… and… you know… I d-don’t… really ever u-u-use the ph-ph-phone here because Th-theo won’t r-really… let me d-do much–“

THEO (yelling in the background): “JED! What the hell are you doing?! How many times have I told you to stay off the phone?! You know you aren’t allowed to do anything at all, ever! Get back in your cage! Don’t make me get the stick again!”

JED: “Jack, I g-g-gotta g-go…”


Oakland Athletics: Billy Beane, General Manager

(Phone rings; Billy answers)

BILLY: “Hello, this is Billy.”

JACK: “Billy? Billy… Beane?”

BILLY: “Yeah, can I help you?”

JACK (taken aback): “Um, wow… well, yes! Yes, you can. This is Jack Zduriencik with the Mariners. I can’t believe I’m actually speaking with THE Billy Beane. They usually only let me speak with your assistants, something about not wasting your time with my stupid– well, it really doesn’t matter.”

BILLY: “Look… Jack, is it? I’ve got a three-o-clock tee time so if we could hurry this up, that’d be fantastic.”

JACK: “Oh, right, yep, I totally understand. Anyway… look, this might sound crazy coming from me, and you probably get this all the time as it is… but I just gotta say, I loved you in Cool World.

BILLY: “Cool World? What on God’s green earth… seriously, man, what the hell are you talking about?”

JACK: “You know… Cool World. With you, and the cartoons. It’s my favorite movie of all-time!”

BILLY (irritated): “Are you talking about that shitty film from like 1990 with Brad Pitt? Is that what you’re referring to? Because that was Brad fuckin’ Pitt in that movie, you idiot. You realize we’re two different people, right? Like, Brad Pitt acted as me in a movie about me and the Oakland A’s a few years ago, but he’s an actor, and I’m a fucking general manager and he was just pretending to be me. Do you get that? Does that make sense to you?”

JACK: “Oh… right… yeah, I know. Never mind, just… never mind, forget I said anything at all. It’s stupid, it was stupid.”

BILLY: “Yeah, you’re a moron. Did you call for a reason?”

JACK: “I did, yes, I actually did… Do you have any Giambis left?”


New York Yankees: Brian Cashman, General Manager & Senior Vice President

(Phone rings; Brian answers)

BRIAN: “B-cash.”

JACK: “Brian, that you?”

BRIAN: “Yeah, this is B-Cash. What’s good?”

JACK: “Good? Well, not a lot, unfortunately…”

BRIAN: “No, it’s just an expression, it’s rhetorical… never mind. Anyhow, who is this?”

JACK: “It’s me, Jack Zduriencik.”

BRIAN (excited): “Jack! My favorite general manager, how ya been?”

JACK (gleeful): “I mean, it’s been rough lately, but not too bad, better now that I’m talking to my best buddy in baseball!”

BRIAN (chuckling): “I know what you mean, Jack. It’s been way too long. Since the whole Montero-Pineda thing, if memory serves. And listen, I just want you to know that I am really sorry about how that’s turned out . I never in my wildest dreams thought Montero would struggle the way he has. We really figured he’d be the next Posada, honest. And Hector Noesi, where do I even begin? He was going to be the next Pedro, wasn’t that what I told you at the time?”

JACK (laughing): “Totally! You said those exact words, I even wrote them down on a piece of paper somewhere. It’s a shame he didn’t pan out here in Seattle. Oh well, at least we’ve still got Jesus!”


BRIAN: “Of course you do! And he’s going to be something, we all know it.”

JACK: “Darn right! Anyway, listen, I’m looking to make a deal.”

BRIAN: “Well you’ve come to the right place, my friend! We’ve got a deal for you, I’m sure of it. What are you looking to acquire? Catcher? Pitcher? Outfielder? What can I do you for?”

JACK: “I want Rodriguez.”

BRIAN (stunned): “Wait, seriously? Alex Rodriguez? Are you being… I mean… you’re not joking around, right? Did someone put you up to this?! Was it Theo?! He’s been prank calling me like four or five times a week…”

JACK: “No, no one put me up to this. I’m being serious. I want Rodriguez. What do you want for him?”

BRIAN (composing himself): “Ahem, well… yes, let’s see. I mean, we are talking about one of the premier offensive players in the history of the game here. So we’ll have to take that into consideration. And he is turning 40 years of age in just a couple days, and 40-year-olds are all the rage right now…”

JACK: “I know all of this, Brian. You can save the sales pitch. I know what I want and you can’t convince me otherwise.”

BRIAN: “Of course, of course. You have always been my greatest adversary, Jack. But you knew that, already. You drive a hard bargain, and no one negotiates with such aplomb…”

JACK: “I can give you Cano and Walker, but you’ll have to throw in Ichiro.”

BRIAN: “We don’t even have Ichiro anym– you know what, never mind. You want Ichiro, you’ll get Ichiro. Let me make a few calls and we’ll seal this, sound good? You are a shrewd one, Zduriencik!”

JACK: “Sounds great, Brian! Pleasure doing business as always. I’ll Snapchat you the necessary paperwork, bye-bye.”


Chicago Cubs: Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations

JACK: “Zduriencik residence, may I ask who’s calling?”

THEO: “Hi Jack, Theo Epstein here.”

JACK: “Theo! What a pleasant surprise!”

THEO: “I wanted to call and apologize about that ugly incident with Jed earlier. He knows he’s not supposed to answer any phone calls, but, you know, kids will be kids.”

JACK: “Oh, no… it’s no big deal at all. Really, it was nothing.”

THEO: “I mean, I know you may have overheard some things on the line and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. It’s not like I beat him or anything… I mean, I do beat him from time to time. But it’s rare, you know?”

JACK: “I completely understand, Theo.”

THEO: “Great, thanks Jack, I owe you one. How about another catcher you can piss away as my way of saying thanks?”


Tampa Bay Rays: Matthew Silverman, General Manager

MATTHEW: “Jack, Matt Silverman here. Listen, we’re really struggling with ISOP right now and I know you’re looking to improve your outfield UZR. And I think we both know our WAR isn’t where it should be, am I right?”

JACK: “Look here, asshole. I don’t know who you are, how you got this number, or what language you happen to be speaking. But you have no idea who you are dealing with. I am the general manager of a Major League Baseball team! You people need to stop calling this line and pitching this… this harebrained, third-world pyramid scheme! I am not interested and if you call me back, I WILL CONTACT THE POLICE!”

Philadelphia Phillies: Ruben Amaro, Jr., General Manager and Andy MacPhail, Advisor and Future Team President

JACK: “Ruben, it’s Jack.”

RUBEN: “Jack Zduriencik? Are you calling about Ben Revere again? I already told you what I want and I’m not budging! It’s Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Robinson Cano, the Moose, a month’s worth of salmon, two kittens, four movie passes, a banana cream pie, a copy of Now! That’s What I Call Music Volume 6, your Netflix password, three players to be named later, and a Hypercolor shirt or no deal!”

JACK: “No, it’s not Revere this time.”

RUBEN: “Oh. Okay then. Well– ”

ANDY (joins the call): “RUBEN! What are you doing? Who is that?”

RUBEN (sheepishly): “Jack from the Mariners… sounds like a really good deal…”

ANDY: “Jack from the Mariners at three in the morning?! WHO IS THIS?!”

JACK: “It’s Jack from the Mariners.”

ANDY: “What are you wearing, Jack from the Mariners?”

JACK: “Uh… khakis.”

ANDY (to Ruben): “She sounds hideous.”

RUBEN (to Andy): “Well, she’s a guy, so…”

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