The Seattle Mariners are quickly approaching the highly anticipated MLB shutdown, and they sit having not added a single player via trade or free agency. President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto has cut players from the 40-man roster, added players to the 40-man roster, and announced coaching changes, but that is all.
As the expected MLB lockout approaches, the Mariners should make a move as soon as possible. Assuming that the MLB owners and the MLB Players Association do not reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement by December 1, they will have to sit through a roster and free agency freeze and will not be able to add new players.
The Mariners have been linked to several high end players and key free agents. They have been linked to infielders Marcus Semien and Kris Bryant, and have been reported to have interest in outfielders Seiya Suzuki and Michael Conforto. They also are rumored to be in on starting pitcher Kevin Gausman. The Mariners need to add at least one of these free agents to have a successful offseason, according to most fans.
Jerry Dipoto has said that he has 3-4 in person visits with free agents coming soon. These could be with some of these players that he and the Mariners front office have been rumored to be connected to, or they could be surprise targets. Dipoto traded Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker for Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura the day before Thanksgiving in 2016, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that while everyone else is eating turkey and stuffing, Dipoto is working out a deal.
If the Mariners do not get anything done by the lockout date, they will be in serious trouble, because post-lockout free agents could sit around and think “Man, the Mariners aren’t seriously interested in getting better, I don’t want to go there.” Also, depending on how long the labor stoppage goes on, there will be a flurry of moves after the lockout, which could put the Mariners at a disadvantage.
The clock is ticking for Jerry Dipoto to get a deal done. He needs to make at least one trade or sign at least one free agent before the lights go out on a big offseason for the Mariners.