Seattle Mariners: Are they done this offseason?
Jerry Dipoto and the Seattle Mariners have by far been the busiest bunch this offseason. But the moves have begun to slow down, which begs the question: are they done?
For those aware of Dipoto’s past, the answer is very clearly no. But there doesn’t appear to be much left for them to do.
After completely overhauling the roster, bidding farewell to several key veteran players in the process, the Mariners are headed in a more youthful direction by adding both prospects and young, controllable MLB-ready talent. Some sense of veteran presence remains, however, with the additions of Edwin Encarnación and Jay Bruce to offset some of the salary the M’s have offloaded.
Both Dipoto and assistant GM Justin Hollander have been noncommittal to Encarnación starting 2019 with the team. Any potential deal involving Encarnación would likely see the return of another veteran making a decent chunk of change, such has been the theme of the Mariners’ previous salary dumps this Winter.
Though the Mariners don’t intend on competing this season, there are ways they can get better and make an impact on the future of their organization. In the past, I’ve recommended the idea of adding a veteran catcher to assist in the development of Omar Narváez as a defensive catcher, as well as the Mariners’ young pitching staff.
Bullpen is also another giant question mark, where only one of last year’s Opening Day relievers, Dan Altavilla, is set to return. Despite the recent addition of Cory Gearrin, and the presence of Shawn Armstrong and Anthony Swarzak, the Mariners don’t have a traditional closer on their roster, something Dipoto has said he’ll aim to address outside of the organization.
There is also still the off chance that a team will overwhelm Dipoto with an offer for Mitch Haniger, though that appears to be highly unlikely at this point. Otherwise, it seems that the bulk of the work is done and any sort of “big” move would come in the form of an Encarnación trade.