This week the winter meetings are happening in the Washington D.C. area. Mariner’s general manager Jerry Dipoto is expected to come home with a starting pitcher at the very least. Who that will be is anyone’s guess.
So far this off-season Dipoto has made six trades and has changed seventeen players. We expected that the Mariners would go after getting a shortstop to replace Marte. I don’t think that many of us would have thought that Marte would be gone himself instead of going to the minor leagues however it did make sense when the Mariners made the trade. The trade wasn’t the first made by the Mariners however it was the biggest up to this date this off-season. The Mariners sent Marte along with starting pitcher TaiJuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger and left handed reliever Zac Curtis. Segura who had a really good season last season with the Diamondbacks will be the Mariners shortstop after playing second base for the backs. Haniger may be the right handed bat platooning with Seth Smith in right field if he makes the team. In the long run he could be the key to the trade for the Mariners. At the very least Segura is another solid player in the Mariners infield. He helps them up the middle along with Mike Zunino at catcher and Leonys Martin in center field. Haniger being the right handed bat is not a sure thing he could start the season at triple A but he is expected to be a really good player and he is another athletic outfielder the Mariners have been looking for.
The Mariners may have Ben Gamel and Heredia who they acquired this year to platoon in left field unless another outfielder is acquired before spring training happens. It looks though the Mariners have improved in the outfield and at shortstop.
First base is another story whether they have improved over Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee who are both free agents and won’t be returning next season. The Mariners traded for Daniel Vogelbach in July from the Chicago Cubs for left handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and the off-season in one of their first trades getting Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics. Though he will be platooning at first base with the right handed bat Valencia may play some outfield and third base when needed. How much he plays first base and the outfield will depend on the young players.
The Mariners just signed left handed relief specialist Marc Rzepczynski and right handed reliever Casey Fien as free agents. Marc as I will call him be pitching primarily against left handed hitters late in the games while Fien could start the season in triple A if he doesn’t make the team in the bullpen.
The Mariners at the end of November traded former first round pick Alex Jackson to the Atlanta Braves for two starting pitchers Robert Whalen who may start the season in Seattle or triple A and Max Povse who may start in double A. Actually Povse could be the key to that trade. He was one of the top pitchers in the Atlanta Braves system.
The Mariners have made other trades as well that we will see happens going into spring training. Who the Mariners get this week in the winter meetings will be interesting. One of the players that the Mariners got during the off-season or last year could be moved along. It will be interesting to see what Dipoto has cooking this week. Go M’s.