The Mariners’ new general manager Jerry Dipoto certainly hit the ground running, all the way to Nashville with frequent stops in between—Nashville, of course, being the venue for this off-season’s winter meetings among baseball’s management. So far I like what he’s arranged for us fans, though I must say that some of the departed surprised me, in particular the trading of Carson Smith, a promising young reliever with knee-buckling slider (just ask Mike Trout).
One thing stands out with Dipoto: he has no respect for the past or fate, the latter being the driving force of former general manager Jack Zduriencik and ex-skipper Lloyd McClendon, who were both fond of such utterances as “let’s see what happens,” or “we’ll watch how this plays out.” Dipoto acts boldly and often. He jettisoned fan favorites Logan Morrison and the aforementioned Smith in his quest to build around the Core Four (Cano, Cruz, Hernandez, and Seager) a team more athletic and, frankly, Royals-like. Safeco, after all, is a big ballpark that repels home runs. Why not get people on base then move them station-to-station rather than hope for the rare fence-clearing long ball?
So far, I’m pleased with the field:
- Adam Lind, 1B
- Robinson Cano, 2B
- Kyle Seager, 3B
- Ketel Marte, ss
- Aoki, Leonys Martin, and Cruz in the outfield
- Chris Ianetta, c
The starting rotation is shaping up with the additions of Bass, Miley, and Karns. The bullpen still needs help, though snaring long-time nemesis Joaquin Benoit was a deft move.
I’m guessing that Dipoto is not finished. And I can’t wait for April.