The Mariners haven’t had a whole lot going on in terms of free agents and trades, but now we finally have something to talk about. The Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto spoke on MLB Network Radio and said he’d be open to trade for a controllable starter.
What does this mean for the Mariners?
It’s funny because I was just discussing what the Mariners 6-man rotation would look like, and I still don’t know… Marco Gonzales, James Paxton, and Justus Sheffield are the only locks for me. For the Mariners coaching staff, Yusei Kikuchi and Chris Flexen are also locked in which leaves the sixth spot open to Justin Dunn, Ljay Newsome, or Nick Margevicius (oh, and by the way, Logan Gilbert).
The Mariners starting rotation is packed already, so I am extremely confused on why Dipoto is considering an addition. I do agree with Dipoto and Brad Lidge that the Mariners could use a veteran starter to mentor the young staff, but where would they fit?
I feel like Marco Gonzales has been a great leader already and could be considered a “veteran.” We also brought back James Paxton… is he not enough of a veteran?
If Seattle were to add a veteran starter this year, does that mean Dipoto wants to ship somebody off? Kikuchi? Dunn? Margeivicius? Or are they going to the bullpen? And we aren’t even talking about the next wave of young pitching prospects: Emerson Hancock, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert.
I am so ecstatic about how the rotation is performing in Spring Training right now, so it makes me even more confused about this rumor. Maybe Jerry is just trying to stir the pot, because it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If anything, Jerry should trade for a position player instead of a starting pitcher.
Who could Jerry Dipoto be talking about?
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Sonny Gray might be a starting pitcher on Jerry Dipoto’s radar. The Reds starting pitcher becomes a free agent in 2023 and is 31-years-old. It fits the description that Jerry Dipoto talked about. I wouldn’t mind adding a career 3.54 ERA pitcher with two All-Star appearances but the question becomes, who do you sacrifice?
Or could Dipoto be eyeing Washington native Matthew Boyd? He is sort of in the same realm as Sonny Gray (not in terms of talent). The southpaw is 30-years-old and will become a free agent in 2023. Boyd has a career 5.08 ERA and has had a couple of decent seasons. Safe to say, he has been consistently average in the MLB.
Someone that could be really interesting is Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs. He is 31-years-old and will be a free agent in 2024. Hendricks has not made an All-Star appearance yet but that doesn’t represent how good he has been in the MLB. But to acquire Hendricks, we would need to send a huge package to Chicago.
After looking at some of the potential options, it makes me a little more comfortable about what Jerry Dipoto said. But, I am still concerned with what would happen to the rest of the current starting pitchers on the Mariners roster and the future.