Trader Jerry — The Seattle Mariners Keep Dealing

Dipoto Shows No Signs of Stopping M’s Overhaul

The Seattle Mariners new General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, has his foot on the gas and he’s not letting up anytime soon.

In less than 30 days, Dipoto has acquired through trade RHP Nathan Karns, LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, OF Boog Powell, RHP Joaquin Benoit, OF Leonys Martin and RHP Anthony Bass.  Additionally, Dipoto has landed Franklin Gutierrez as a free agent and Chris Iannetta as a free agent.

That’s a lot of names in one month, especially November.  And the scary part is, I don’t think Dipoto is even close to slowing down the roster makeover. 

Jerry Dipoto

Jerry Dipoto has got a lot of guts, I’ll give him that.

Let’s take a brief pause to discuss where all these new names likely fit into the Mariners lineup.

Karns is the lone starter of all the pitchers Dipoto has landed.  He figures to be at the backend of the rotation, possibly battling for the 5th spot with Roenis Elias.  Riefenhauser and Bass both will be middle relief type of guys and Benoit is likely the M’s new closer with both Wilhelmsen and Rodney gone.

Martin is clearly going to be the new starting centerfielder for the M’s.  Gutierrez will platoon in left field with Seth Smith.  Iannetta is the Mariners new starting catcher.  He’ll be tasked with grooming Mike Zunino, the M’s catcher who they have almost wrecked by rushing him to the big leagues too soon.  Powell will get a look in the spring but I think he starts the year in Tacoma.

Deep Breath — Are you keeping up with all of this?

Don’t rest too long because more moves are still coming.  The latest scuttle says that Dipoto is trying to pry Marcell Ozuna away from the Marlins.  Ozuna would give the M’s someone to play right field more often than not.  I suspect Nelson Cruz will still demand some time in right rather than be a full time DH.

The cost for Ozuna will likely be one of the M’s starters.  Right now the rotation looks something like this:

Karns might not ever throw a pitch for Seattle before he is dealt.

Karns might not ever throw a pitch for Seattle before he is dealt.

Noticeably absent at this point is still Hisashi Iwakuma who remains a free agent.  I was a bit surprised that Iwakuma did not sign during the exclusive period and even more surprised that this has dragged on to the end of November.

The Marlins are reportedly most interested in Taijuan Walker, the guy that always seems to be the target of other teams trades with the M’s.  If Walker is the guy then the return package likely has to be more than just Ozuna.  This could easily turn into another five or six player deal in a hurry.

I think the more likely scenario is the Mariners flipping Karns before he ever pitches wearing a Mariners uniform.  It’s exactly the kind of move Dipoto is known for.

Making a deal for Ozuna only makes sense if the Mariners get a deal worked out with Iwakuma.  I question at this point how soon that will happen.  I think Iwakuma is now stuck in a holding pattern waiting for the top guys, David Price and Zack Greinke, to set the market price before he can get his deal done.

Does Dipoto have the kind of guts it would take to deal a starter now, knowing he has no guarantee Iwakuma will sign?

That’s a major-league level of guts if he does it.  It’s more guts than we’ve ever seen from a Mariners GM too. 

No Guts, No Glory.  Maybe that will be the M’s slogan in 2016.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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