When it comes to young pitching, the Mariners have an embarrassment of riches. They effectively have seven quality starters, and while the adage you can never have enough pitching rings true, there is a case for Jerry Dipoto to double down in the pitching market with Yoshi Yamamoto.
There is a good chance Dipoto and his trusty right-hand man, Justin Hollander, will trade from their strength to address the offense. We've seen Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, and even Logan Gilbert floated in trade rumors this offseason. While most Mariner fans are okay with trading one of the two rookie hurlers, most folks talk about a Gilbert trade with some trepidation, and rightfully so.
Gilbert is a workhorse who made 32 starts this season and had career highs in innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP. He has more than three years of team control, which would make his trade cost-prohibitive for most teams. However, MLB Insider Jon Morosi floated an interesting idea this week expressing the Mariners' interest in Yoshi Yamamoto. I can understand why Dipoto would have some level of interest in the top pitcher in this free-agent class, even when he has a boatload of major-league quality starters.
Why? Because the Mariners are a run-prevention team that needs a significant infusion of offensive talent. Even though it would hurt, trading Logan Gilbert to pitching needy teams (STL, NYM, PHI, SD) could net the Mariners the contact hitters they need to keep up with their AL West Rivals. If they signed Yamamoto, he would immediately slot in as a 1B to Luis Castillo and create a three-headed monster that could do serious damage in a short playoff series.
Don't get me wrong, I love Logan Gilbert just as much as you (the fans) do. But if trading the lanky righty for a package that includes Nolan Gorman and Tommy Edman, or Jeff McNeil and Mark Vientos, AND means the Mariners landed the best Japanese pitcher in decades, I would be doing cartwheels in front of T-Mobile Park. Oh, what an offseason and it's just November.