Mariners Deal Alex Jackson

Jerry Dipoto decided it was time to trade 2014 number one draft pick to the Atlanta Braves. There is a possibility that Jackson could be the player the Mariners drafted two and half years ago but we will find out with him in another uniform.

There is a possibility that he will never mount to anything and not have a major league career or he could still be a superstar though he is playing in the low minors so far. Like several of the last top picks he has had to deal with injuries as well. Outside of Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez the Mariners have not done well in the first round of the draft. Both these guys were top overall pick so the chances that they would not make it were slim. You look though at the Mariners history of the draft they have had very few players make it to the majors. We would have to few other teams to see if they have much more success than the Mariners.

The Mariners did receive two starting pitchers in return for Jackson however they will have to give the Braves another player in return. That player most likely is sent just before spring training begins. The Mariners received Rob Whalen who started five times for the Braves in 2016. So he looks like he could be the fifth starter when the season starts or be in the depth chart in triple A. The other pitcher they received was Matt Povse a tall 6’8. He hasn’t pitched above double A and could start the season there or at triple A. It sounds like he may be the key to the trade. Many fans of the Braves were not happy when they heard that he was traded to the Mariners. Though both may not play a big part on the 2017 team they may in 2018 or beyond. Also Dipoto isn’t finished getting another starting pitcher so one of them could be part of another trade or help them depart in another pitcher that was planned for in the future. Whatever the case is we know now that Dipoto loves to add depth to the team especially in pitching. Also he has added athletic outfielders to the roster in the past year he has been the Mariners general manager. At this point we are not sure what outfielder will have success but if he pushes the buttons enough time one should stick.

When you look at the 2014 draft by the Mariners only one player has made it onto the roster is Dan Altavilla who came up late in 2016 and pitched fifteen games in relief. He could be a key part of the bullpen going along with closer Edwin Diaz. The Mariners have a left handed starting pitcher who was drafted in the 4th round in 2014 just ahead of Altavilla. He was the Mariners minor league pitcher of the year. He had a record of 12-4 and an era of 2.95. He could start the season in triple A. At this point the Mariners don’t have anyone else that seems to be above single A out of the 2014 draft. Some of those players could be involved in any trades the Mariners make.

I like what Dipoto is doing adding depth in their minor and major league rosters. Only time will tell who will make it and who will not. Next week the winter meeting’s happen. Have to see if they make any more trades or signings before and during that time. We should see the Mariners acquiring a middle level starting pitcher. Who that is anyone’s guess at this time. I am sure Dipoto has an idea who may look to get next. For us it is a waiting game. Go M’s.

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Mariners Make Big Trade

 

First of all wish every Seattle Mariner fan a Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully this trade will make us more thankful and the Mariners more of a contender for 2017.

The Seattle Mariners made a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thanksgiving Eve to get a veteran though still young shortstop. The Mariners not only gave up shortstop Ketel Marte they had to finalize the deal by trading their top pitching prospect over the last four years TaiJuan Walker. Sometimes to get what you really want you have to give something good in return. In return the Mariners received Jean Segura who played second base for the Diamondbacks last season however he is projected to be a pretty good shortstop. The Mariners plan for Segura to be the leadoff hitter besides playing shortstop. He will be added to the core group of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. He is under arbitration for two more years before he can become a free agent. Segura not only is a good hitter he has speed and power. The Mariners also acquired outfielder Mitch Haniger who has limited major league experience however he is a right handed hitter who has played right field. He may platoon with Ben Gamel or Seth Smith. The Mariners got left handed reliever Zac Curtis in the trade as well. He doesn’t have much major league experience either but both him and Haniger could be part of the Mariners future.

We all know the potential of both TaiJuan Walker and Ketel Marte. Walker likely could become a number one starter in another couple seasons. This leaves James Paxton as the guy moving up the chain in the Mariners starting rotation after King Felix Hernandez and Iwakuma. I thought that the Mariners would have to go after a top rotation guy anyway but this is more of a sure thing now. Marte on the other hand not sure where he ends up; he likely will start 2017 in triple A for the Diamondbacks. He could be the future second baseman for them in place of Segura. Second base may be his better position however with the Mariners that was not going to happen with Robinson Cano being around for some time.

The Mariners now look like more of a veteran team along with a look of being younger in the outfield. It could take the Mariners a couple years where they truly want to be in the outfield. They have become more athletic that is for sure. Danny Valencia likely going to be the right handed platoon hitter at first base. His versatility will allow him to play in the outfield as well if the Mariners need him out there too. At this time it is hard to know where the Mariners will need him the most. A lot will depend on Gamel, Haniger and Heredia who is the other part of the equation. There still is a possibility that the Mariners could bring in another veteran outfielder but at this time that is not a priority.

The winter meetings will be coming up in a couple weeks so it will be interesting what the Mariners and Dipoto will do during that time. I expect that the Mariners will go for a top starting rotation pitcher along with another reliever especially left handed. Go M’s.

What Is Next For Mariners?

With a week away from Thanksgiving what is the Mariners going to do next when acquiring a player? Will Jerry Dipoto be looking to go for a shortstop, another outfielder, a left handed relief pitcher or some other player?

Who would you be interested and be thankful for the Mariners to acquire before Thanksgiving? One of the above or add depth to the roster. Another option would be to sign a free agent. I do hope that Dipoto does go out and acquire someone whether by trade or free agency. The shortstop or left handed relief pitcher would be one of my two best wishes.

We all know that Dipoto is busy at this time though we haven’t heard anything at all. Also on Friday the Rule Five Draft is supposed to take place. The Mariners could lose former #1 draft pick D.J. Peterson if they don’t have him on the forty man roster. The Mariners drafted him as a third basemen however recently he has been playing first base in both double A and triple A this last season. He was projected to possibly be the right handed hitting first baseman platooning with Daniel Vogelbach however with the acquisition of Danny Valencia that is less likely. The only chance would be if he played well enough to make the opening roster and Valencia would be the platooning outfielder with Seth Smith. The chances are slim that will happen especially if the Mariners acquire another outfielder. The Mariners may leave him up for the rule five draft for two reasons that they don’t think the team no longer needs him or gamble that another won’t take him. The rule five draft the player has to be on the team that takes him for the full 2017 season or offer him back to the Mariners. The Mariners could make a trade at the time as well for the other team to keep him instead of sending to the minor leagues. So the odds are likely Peterson will no longer be the property of the Seattle Mariners.

Although Dipoto has been far from perfect he has tried to do what he has said about upgrading and adding depth to the team. So we can see what more he wants to do. The important thing he does realize what the Mariners need besides what us fans think they need. So let’s go M’s.

Mariners Make a Move

General Manager Jerry Dipoto kept pretty quiet during the General Manager meetings this last week in Arizona however he made a trade on Saturday with the Oakland A’s to pick up a player that gives the Mariners some versatility. They acquired Danny Valencia who is a veteran player that has been in the major leagues for seven years. His career batting average is .271 and he has hit .327 against left handed pitching.

Valencia is a right handed hitter who primarily played third base however he has played some first base as well. The Mariners figure he will play mostly first base and the outfield. He will give Kyle Seager a day off once in a while as well. In those cases Seager will probably dh. The Mariners expect Valencia to platoon some with Daniel Vogelbach at first base and he could with Seth Smith in the outfield. How much he plays at first base will depend on how well Vogelbach does. He was a regular at third base for the A’s so the Mariners could have him playing regular there if Vogelbach is not ready to play against right handers. What matters really is if the Mariners can pick up an outfielder or another first baseman. Most likely Dae-Ho Lee will not be returning for the Mariners and it is possible that Franklin Gutierrez will not either.

Valencia has some power since he hit seventeen home runs for the A’s. Where he hits the batting order is anyone’s guess at this time. He could bat second or sixth I would expect. It is real nice that the Mariners were able to pick up a player like him to play for them. Although he may play more than one position he is accustomed to playing every day which is a nice player to have. This will be good if something happens with Seager and they need someone to play third base for a little while. With his versatility it will be interesting to see how much Shawn O’Malley will play as the utility player. I expect the next thing for Dipoto to do is go out and find a veteran shortstop in the same manner as Valencia. A solid player that will allow Marte to get some more seasoning in triple A; in the same manner they did with Zunino last year. Although they don’t have to it would be nice to find an outfielder as well along with a starting pitcher. They may purchase or sign a left handed relief pitcher who can be a situational pitcher to face the other team’s best left handed hitter. Best of luck to Dipoto. Go M’s.

Dipoto and GM Meetings

Now the Presidential election is over now we can concentrate on more important things like the Seattle Mariners. This week Jerry Dipoto and his management team are in Arizona for the general manager meetings.

We will have to see if Dipoto will pull off some trades this week or at least set up for the next few weeks ahead. Like all of us know Dipoto will be searching for a right handed hitting first baseman along with an outfielder who can play every day as a regular. I am sure that Dipoto will be discussing pitchers as well whether for the starting rotation or bullpen. I know the pitching isn’t the priority right now but it will be nice to get a top notch starting pitcher in the next couple months. This will depend a lot on what they do otherwise.

Dipoto is not looking to dive much into the free agent market but I would not be surprised if he signs at least one free agent probably at first base. If Dae-Ho Lee doesn’t return the Mariners may look at Mike Napoli who is a free agent who played last year with the Cleveland Indians. He could be a good choice however he may cost more money than Dipoto is willing to spend.

The outfield position the Mariners likely will go after in a trade however they could sign a free agent there as well but that is not a priority though.

I hope that we do see a little splash this week at least in the general manager meetings. There could be some less costly free agents they may go after as well. I would say probably not any big names just those who could add depth to the team. Those could be guys who may start the season at AAA and be available when needed.

I have full confidence that Dipoto will be upgrading the team for the upcoming season. Although he will be talking a lot to other general managers I am sure there will not be as many trades as last season but he could surprise us. Go M’s.

First Week of the Off-Season

The Seattle Mariners started the beginning of the off-season making some moves that were expected and then on Sunday night made a trade for catcher Carlos Ruiz with the Dodgers for reliever Vidal Nuno.

The trade for Ruiz has not been yet confirmed by either the Mariners or the Dodgers however I am sure it has been done. Several reliable sources have reported the trade. I am surprised that early last week the Mariners exercised declining the option on catcher Chris Iannetta for $4.5 million and then turn around acquiring Ruiz at the same amount of money. I would have thought the Mariners try to save money for a backup catcher. I wonder if the Mariners are planning to use him more often than they would have used Iannetta. On the other hand it could be a beginning of another move Dipoto plans that may happen in the days ahead. It is possible he could be part of another trade or someone else in the catcher position; just asking no speculation at all.

The trading of Vidal Nuno really doesn’t surprise me at all. He wasn’t used a lot last year especially in the first half of the season. He finished pitching in 55 games with an era of 3.53. Not bad at all but he was the only left handed reliever in the bullpen most of the season. You would have thought he would have pitched more often. Mostly in relief he has pitched long relief but the Mariners did not use him that way. Most of the time he was used at the end of the game and was used sparingly as a left handed specialist; Dipoto mentioned that he was going to go out to find a left handed specialist so Nuno’s days were numbered far as I am concerned.

Early last week the Mariners accepted Seth Smith’s option to stay with the team while Aoki was sent to the Houston Astros through waivers. Most likely Smith will be platooned next season with Franklin Gutierrez if he returns since he is a free agent or someone else who bats right handed. At this point not sure whether he will play in left or right field I surely hope it will be left field since he does have some defensive liability. Left field is better position to have someone play who has defense deficiency. This is especially true in Safeco Field. Depending who the Mariners get to play in right field will decide how much Smith and his partner will play in left field.

If Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia are both on the opening day roster for 2017 it is possible they could be platooning in right field however Dipoto doesn’t want to platoon both left and right field once again. There is a good possibility that Heredia could be the platoon player with Seth Smith if they decide not to bring back Gutierrez. In that case Gamel could be the everyday right fielder if the Mariners decide not to pick up another outfielder. Gamel can be the backup to Leonys Martin in centerfield when he needs a rest. Gamel can play a good defensive center field. Another option in the outfield is how much utility player Shawn O’Malley may play out there. This could depend on who the Mariners have playing short stop as well. We know that O’Malley won’t have much playing time at second or third.

I do expect a regular everyday outfielder besides Martin because with the Mariners likely to platoon someone with Daniel Vogelbach at first base the Mariner won’t want to have three positions to platoon. How all things work out at shortstop, first base and the outfield will be interesting during this off-season. Go M’s.

 

The Off-Season Ready To Begin

Going into final game of the World Series Wednesday night means the beginning of the off-season where general managers can start making changes to their rosters. The 7th game of the World Series should be exciting especially being the first one for both the Cubs and the Indians in quite a few innings. The TV ratings for this game should be sky high. Hopefully it will be one that we all remember for many years ahead.

On Thursday free agents like Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee of the Mariners will be available for other teams picking. Lind is not expected back since the Mariners do have Daniel Vogelbach who is expected to be the left handed hitting first baseman. Lee on the other hand the Mariners would like him to return to the team. Most likely they would have to sign him to a two year contract. Also Lee would like to play for a team that will give him more playing time when he spoke at a news conference in returning to Korea recently.

The Mariners will be looking at short stop likely trading with Cincinnati Reds to get Zach Cozart they discussed with last July. Also the Mariners will go out to see if they can get a regular outfielder to play left or right field and centerfield when Leonys Martin needs a day off. Another need is a left handed reliever in the bullpen. I hope that they go after a top tier level starting pitcher to go into the rotation. Likely they will see what is available as a veteran catcher. Right now Jesus Sucre is being looked as the backup to Mike Zunino. I am Dipoto will look at bringing in other players to add depth to the team as well. He figures not to be as busy as last year but will do some trades and transactions. The Mariners were so close to making the playoffs this year so adding a few players to make it into the playoffs next season will be needed. Go M’s.