New general manager Jerry Dipoto was known to have interviewed a handful of candidates, including Tim Bogar, Jason Varitek, Charlie Montoyo and Phil Nevin, for the position after dismissing Lloyd McClendon on Oct. 9. Alex Cora was not a finalist, contrary to some reports.
Several of the candidates were brought to Seattle this week for follow-up interviews, including Servais.
FoxSports.com was the first to report that Servais would be Seattle's new skipper. While that hadn't been finalized as of Thursday night, a source said there was a "strong chance" that Servais would leave the Angels for their division rivals.
Servais will be reunited in Seattle with Dipoto, who resigned as Angels GM on July 1 and was named the Mariners' GM in late September. Servais, one of Dipoto's first hires with Los Angeles four years ago, was in charge of scouting and player development with the Angels. He and Angels manager Mike Scioscia have butted heads in the past, and there was always a strong chance that he would leave for another organization this offseason.
Bogar, hired by the Angels as Dipoto's special assistant last November, is also likely to join the Mariners in some capacity, possibly as bench coach. Bogar was the bench coach for the Rangers in 2014, then went 14-8 as interim manager after Ron Washington stepped down late in the season.
Servais, 48, doesn't have any experience as a manager, but he has a strong baseball background and recently interviewed for the vacant Padres managerial position. He was a catcher in the Majors from 1991-2001, then signed on as a roving catching instructor with the Cubs in '02.
After two years in Chicago, Servais worked with Dipoto as a pro scout with the Rockies while Dipoto was the director of player personnel. He then became director of player development with the Rangers in 2006, where he was credited in part with helping spark Nelson Cruz's offensive improvement.
Dipoto then hired Servais to be an assistant to the GM in Anaheim and speculation immediately arose upon Dipoto's hiring in Seattle that Servais would join him with the Mariners in some capacity.
Servais played college baseball at Creighton, where his head coach was former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. He also helped Team USA win a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics and a silver medal in the '87 Pan American Games before his pro career, during which he hit .245 in 820 games while playing for the Astros (1991-95 and 2001), Cubs ('95-98) and Giants (1999-2000).
The early thought was that Servais might fill the role of director of player development after Chris Gwynn resigned on Oct. 8, but Dipoto hired Rockies sports psychologist Andy McKay for that spot on Tuesday.
Dipoto decided to part ways with McClendon on Oct. 9, saying the two didn't share the same baseball philosophies. McClendon had one year remaining on his contract after leading the Mariners to a 163-161 record in two seasons.