In this edition of the SoDo Mojo roundtable, we grade the Seattle Mariners offseason.
The 2015 season was supposed to be a joyous one for the Seattle Mariners and their fans, but it ended up being a train wreck. Everything that could go wrong did last season, and that led to numerous firings and transactions this winter. In tonight’s roundtable, the staff here at SoDo Mojo has graded the job done by Jerry Dipoto and his staff this offseason.
The Mariners made wholesale changes on the field and in the front office this offseason. First and foremost, General Manager Jack Zduriencik was replaced by former Los Angeles Angels GM, Jerry Dipoto. The 47-year-old Jersey City, NJ product relieved Lloyd McClendon of his managerial duties, and hired Scott Servais to serve as the M’s skipper in 2016. Servais is a former colleague and teammate of Dipoto, but this season will be his first as a coach.
Dipoto and his staff infused the M’s starting rotation with fresh blood this winter. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma remain the top hurlers in the starting rotation, but Wade Miley was acquired from the Boston Red Sox to fill the number three spot. Seattle also traded for 28-year-old right-hander Nate Karns from the Tampa Bay Rays. Karns is battling James Paxton and Mike Montgomery this spring for the final spot in the starting rotation.
The bullpen has been completely rebuilt. Out are familiar faces like Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen and Carson Smith, and in are Joaquin Benoit, Steve Cishek and Evan Scribner. Seattle also added veteran right-handers Ryan Cook, Justin De Fratus and Joel Peralta. The ‘Pen will certainly have a different feel to it in 2016, and hopefully they will be a much more consistent unit.
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Logan Morrison was a fan favorite in Seattle, but he was shipped to Tampa Bay along with former shortstop Brad Miller. The Mariners traded for veteran Adam Lind from the Milwaukee Brewers to fill the void left by LoMo at first base. The M’s were disappointed with Mike Zunino behind the plate last season, and Dipoto signed Chris Iannetta to replace Z. Steve Clevenger was also acquired to seve as Iannetta’s backup in 2016.
The Mariners’ outfield will also have a new look this season. Nori Aoki was signed to hit leadoff and be the M’s everyday left fielder. Seattle felt they needed an upgrade in center field, and landed Leonys Martin from the Texas Rangers. Boog Powell is an intriguing young outfielder who was acquired from the Rays this offseason.
Cleary, the Mariners were extremely busy this offseason. There are plenty of new names playing this spring for the M’s, and many pundits have high praise for Dipoto and his staff. However, what do the writers here at SoDo Mojo think? It’s time to find out!
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