Sodo Mojo’s Seattle Mariners Q&A

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: GM Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 30, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: GM Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 30, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

New year, new us… Ok so maybe not. However, a new year gives us the opportunity to try new things. This year, we will be writing a weekly question and answer article about the Mariners from your questions on Twitter!

In this weekly article, we are open to any Mariners related questions you wish to discuss. Just send us your questions throughout the week, and we will get to as many as possible! So, without further ado, lets dive into our first Sodo Mojo Q&A article!

Question 1:

This is an interesting question, that is ultimately impossible to answer. It appears, that ownership is not sold on Dipoto, as there has been no announcement on an extension for the 3rd year general manager. Having a lame duck GM is uncommon in baseball, as even extending a GM for a year can be a ceremonial move at best.

Actions speak louder than words, both in baseball and in life. The Mariners have barely been linked to any of the numerous free agents still available, which raises some interesting questions. Is Dipoto legitimately happy with the roster as is? Or has ownership told Jerry that he has reached his spending limit?

If it is the former, Dipoto should have just the 2018 season to push the Mariners into the postseason. If it is the latter, I believe Dipoto should be allowed to stick for another year or two after the 2018 season.

Handcuffing a GM financially when he inherited several bad contracts and then firing him before 1 of these contracts came off the books is a bit unfair. If ownership is really interested in ending their playoff drought, they need to find the money to give Dipoto. Giving him a legitimate shot to prove he can.

If ownership is content hovering around .500 and hoping for the best in 2018, then it appears Dipoto is on his way out after this season.

Question 2

We kind of answered this in question 1. The simple answer appears to be more money. Thankfully, the starting pitching market has not produced much news thus far, so there are still many options out there.

Both Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are still available, but the Mariners have not been linked to either pitcher in any serious way. It is likely that both pitcher would cost the Mariners $20 million AAV, and they may simply not have the funds to make it happen. The next best group includes Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. Both should be more reasonably priced than Darvish and Arrieta.

Perhaps Dipoto is weary of signing a starter like Lynn or Cobb because they received the qualifying offer, and signing either would cost the Mariners either their 2nd or 3rd round pick.

If that is the case, there are still several quality arms that can help this rotation without a major contractual or draft pick complication. A few names include Jason Vargas, Jaime Garcia, Andrew Cashner and RA Dickey.

The slow market is probably good news for Dipoto and the Mariners. It likely means that there will be a few bargains to be had, as pitchers anxiously await to learn where they will be calling home for the 2018 season.

Question 3

It is a bit early to answer this question, since expectations are a bit subjective at this point. However, using Fangraphs Steamer projections as a base, there are a few names that come to mind.

Jean Segura is projected to slash .275/.323/.406 with 14 home runs, 90 runs, and 22 stolen bases. Segura, who missed a month with leg injuries in 2017, stole 22 bases last season. He also slashed .300/.349/.427. Expecting a 20 point drop in all 3 categories seems a bit ludicrous to me.

A projected 2.2 fWAR coming off a 2.9 fWAR season is also a bit far-fetched. Especially considering the best skill set Segura poses, his base running, was severely hampered in 2017, thanks to lower body injuries.

I would project Segura to hit around .290/.333/.425, with 30 stolen bases and a solid 3.0 fWAR.

Steamer also projects Ryon Healy to set career lows in all 3 triple slash categories. A curious projection considering Healy’s age, pedigree, track record, and hitting in the same division as he did the past 2 seasons. I don’t feel comfortable with Healy heading into the 2018 season as the everyday first baseman. However, he should absolutely outperform his 0.2 fWAR projection. If for no other reason than he can’t be worse at first than he was at third.

Personally, I believe Kyle Seager will have his ” breakout season” in 2018. This is a gut feeling, but Seager is too good of a hitter to post a 106 wRC+. Additionally, he did come alive in the second half of 2017, posting a very Kyle Seager like 122 wRC+.

If you want to read a very detailed article about Seager’s 2017 season, I highly recommend reading Jake Mailhot article for Lookout Landing back in November by clicking here.

Next: Could the Mariners and Danny Salazar be a Fit?

Well, there you have it. Our first of what is hopefully a weekly column, answering your Mariners questions. As always, feel free to send us your questions on Facebook or Twitter, and your question will be featured in our next Sodo Mojo Seattle Mariners Q&A!