The Mariners Transformation Is Complete… We Think


In his attempt to transform the Mariners into a playoff contender, GM Jerry Dipoto has had an active off-season. After the acquisition of Drew Smyly yesterday afternoon -his second trade of the day- Dipoto has come out and said that the shake-up may finally be complete.

After eleven trades (and many other roster moves) since the Mariners season ended in early October, it appears that the restless Dipoto is ready for his next break from his self-inflicted business over the past few months.

The GM even went on to poke fun at himself for making so many deals during his second off-season in charge:

"“Maybe my hyperactivity perhaps paid off.”"

The transformation didn’t take long to begin.

In the first couple weeks of November under Dipoto’s puppeteering, we saw many players elect for free agency, be taken from the waiver list, and watched players ship off to new teams.

Key changes including the loss of Nori Aoki who will face his old team as a new member of the Houston Astros, the addition of Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for prospect, Paul Blackburn, as well as the addition of Carlos Ruiz via a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in a swap for reliever, Vidal Nuno.

Each of these moves highlighted a few key spots that the Mariners wanted to sure up.

Dipoto was hoping to make headway at the catchers position seeing that Mike Zunino, Chris Iannetta, and Steve Clevenger never looked comfortable for long periods of time behind the plate in 2016; so he added a veteran presence like Ruiz to help Zunino come into to his own.

Dipoto was also hoping to find more productivity and athleticism at first base after the mediocre combined year of Dae-ho Lee and Adam Lind. Dipoto feels he did that with Valencia who will be a platoon player with the young, Dan Vogelbach.

Then we watched Aoki head to the division rival Astros, sending a message to the league that the Mariners wanted something different out in left. Within the last week, we’ve seen part of that plan take place with the signing of Jarrod Dyson.

He will most likley headline the postion in front of aspiring left fielders, Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia.

In the second half of November, Dipoto refused to let up, making three more moves in accordance with his plan, including a blockbuster deal that sent Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for the all-around stud, Jean Segura.

The two other deals may have seemed less significant, but they were moves to reshape the bullpen with budding talent from around the league.

Acquiring the twenty-five-year-old top prospect, James Pazos from the New York Yankees in one deal and bringing on the twenty-two and twenty-three-year-olds, Rob Whalen and Max Povse from the Atlanta Braves assured that was taking place.

Come December, Dipoto took a break after his six trades in month one to open the off-season. This was concerning to some Mariners fans as most other teams in baseball were wheeling and dealing at the winter meetings and throughout the holiday season and there was still plenty of work that needed to be done.

The Mariners on the other hand only made a handful of notable big league transactions.

First, they signed free agent, Marc Rzepczynski as an aid to the pen, then a few days later went on to add a possible late-in-the-rotation man, Chris Heston in a trade with the San Fransico Giants.

Other than a handful of minor league deals and some shifts on the forty-man roster, the M’s stayed put until the new year.

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After what seemed like a month-long hiatus, Dipoto kicked off 2017 the way he did November: making the moves to improve the team, and fast.

Dipoto was able to fulfill his main off-season goal which was to revamp the Mariners rotation. He did so by trading away Nathan Karns for the Royals Dyson to free up space for the Orioles, Yovani Gallardo.

And just a few days later, he was at it again, making the bold move to finagle two deals in the same day to insert Drew Smyly in the backend of the rotation.

The Mariners had to see few key prospects go in order to welcome these new guys, but Dipoto feels that the risk will reap the rewards in the very near future, after all, that has been part of his agenda all along: win now to end the longest playoff drought in baseball.

As I mentioned at the very beginning, it was the Smyly trade that appears to have finished the Mariners frantic, but very successful off-season.

He told the press on that same conference call:

"“This is our team,” he said. “Our five starters are already in house, we like the depth we have created in back of them. The position players, we like the mix of veteran core players and a group of upcoming athletic young players that really complement one another really well.”"

Next: Dipoto's Busy Day Of Trades

We’ll see if Dipoto can manage his self-proclaimed hyperactivity for the next few months, but if we take his words at face value -there’s no reason we shouldn’t- then this looks like this will be the 2017 Seattle Mariners.