During the Marlins' season-ending press conference, President David Samson insisted Jennings was always the GM. President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill consistently said the club wanted Jennings to help the organization construct the 2016 roster. However, neither is necessarily true.
As Miami struggled throughout the summer, reports indicated Owner Jeffrey Loria was not pleased with Jennings. Even though the Marlins were plagued by injuries to key players, including Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, it was easy to blame Jennings for the club's shortcomings. After all, Mike Redmond was blamed for a slow start.
It is also not a secret the Marlins have made multiple changes within their front office, and Assistant General Manager Mike Berger reportedly gained a notable amount of power while Jennings was in the dugout. It is also known Jennings wanted an opportunity to manage the Marlins next season. However, Miami is currently searching for a more qualified candidate.
Once the World Series ends, Jennings will once again help Miami make the necessary moves in order to compete in 2016. Considering everything the Marlins accomplished last winter, that should be considered positive. Giancarlo Stanton was extended. Miami added Dee Gordon, Michael Morse and several veteran pitchers. Just because the moves did not notably help the club does not mean they should be ignored.
Last off-season, under Jennings, the Marlins were active. There are plenty of reasons to believe they will continue to be active again this winter. Extending Gordon, Fernandez and Adeiny Hechavarria will be among the club's off-season goals. Hiring a manager will likely come first.
Perhaps Jennings opted to return to the front office because he missed out on an opportunity. Seattle hired Jerry Dipoto to be its next GM. Jennings was also linked to the job. Interviewing for another job would require permission. There is no way of knowing if he would have received it.
Jennings is taking a chance by returning. He might not have as much authority, but that is a risk he appears prepared to take. He will help the Marlins again this winter. But it is still worth monitoring his return moving forward.