Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto joined “Brock and Salk” Tuesday morning and gave further insight into his most recent deals. A few things that jumped out to me from his interview:
• In dealing Taijuan Walker, I was curious to know if this was a matter of Dipoto targeting someone specific in return or opening shop, so to speak, to see what was available. It turns out this process goes back much further than this offseason.
• If the window appears to be closing for the Mariners with their aging core, Dipoto sees a door opening.
• While he would be certain to listen on anything, Dipoto’s focus is now on adding pitching. He has added a number of arms, but not what could be called a sure, immediate impact arm. Mike Salk asked how he weighed depth versus higher-end pitching. “I do believe we have created the depth that is required to get through a season,” Dipoto said. “Now we have to figure out a way to improve the quality at the higher end.” How much flexibility does he have to add quality to the rotation and/or pen? “Enough to do what we need to do,” Dipoto answered. “We’ve had the resources to do what we need to do. Like everyone else we have a budget, but we have never been short of resources.”
• Mitch Haniger brings more than just a bat, according to Dipoto. He pointed out that recent additions have been an attempt to get more athletic and bring more defense to the outfield. “Mitch Haniger does that,” Dipoto said. “He brings us an outfielder who was among the most well-regarded defenders in minor-league baseball and it did translate in the big leagues.” It will be very interesting to see how the outfield with the new additions sorts itself out.
• Along with being more athletic, the Mariners should be younger as well. Last year they started the season with the oldest roster in baseball at 30.2 years old on average. The 25-man roster that I would project today would come in at 28.8 years old.
• In the interview Dipoto also talks about the use of closers in leverage situations and how important he believes Leonys Martin is to the team, he gives good scouting reports on Rob Whalen and Max Povse and solves the mystery of why so many players are listed and reported to be much lighter than they actually are.
• With Monday’s trade, the Mariners’ estimated payroll does not change. With 12 MLB minimum players on what I project would be the 25-man roster if the season started tomorrow, I have them at just over $137 million, not including potential bonuses. The two glaring needs are a solid, innings-eating starter and an established left-handed reliever.
• Blast from the past: Former Mariners outfielder Eric Thames, who made quite the name for himself playing in Korea the last three seasons, has signed with the Brewers. He has quite the beard.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) November 29, 2016
• Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz are on the preliminary roster of 50 for the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic.
• Cano and his RC22 Foundation are hosting a flood relief drive in New York next Monday to support victims of the recent severe flooding in the Dominican Republic. The foundation has also set up an Amazon Wish List for those unable to attend the event. The link for the Wish List can be found here.