Groz: Mariners’ tough weekend stings, but venom directed at GM Jerry Dipoto is surprising
The five games the Seattle Mariners have played since trading closer Kendall Graveman across the field to AL West rival Houston last Tuesday could have gone better, especially if you’re general manager Jerry Dipoto.
While infielder Abraham Toro, the main return Seattle got in the Graveman trade, has been outstanding at the plate in his short time with the team, Seattle is just 1-4 since the deal. What especially hurts is that the Mariners very well could have swept a three-game series this weekend over the lowly Texas Rangers, only the Graveman-less bullpen gave up walk-off home runs to Jonah Heim in back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday and instead lost the series.
Though Seattle acquired four players in three trades last week before Friday’s MLB trade deadline, there’s been a feeling of frustration among some in the fan base – and reportedly even in the Mariners’ clubhouse – with the moves Dipoto made, which may not ultimately help the team’s playoff chances this season as much as some wanted. While 710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave “The Groz” Grosby would have liked to see more big-name players acquired last week, he’s stopping himself from overreacting.
“Everyone knows I would have preferred the Mariners made a bigger splash at the trade deadline, but one thing is obvious: you don’t make a judgment after four games,” Groz said Monday in his latest Just a Minute segment for 710 ESPN Seattle’s YouTube channel. “Nothing hurts worse than losing a game in the (final inning), and the fact that the Mariners did it twice to one of baseball’s worst adds to the sting, but I’m surprised at the venom directed at Jerry Dipoto.”
Groz continued to explain that while Dipoto didn’t go all that big at this trade deadline, his moves were made with more of an eye towards the team’s success in 2022 and beyond, which is in line with what he had been saying all along.
“Dipoto and the M’s have made it clear their ‘go for broke’ year will be next year, and I for one won’t fault a guy for sticking to his guns,” Groz said. “There’s no question he’s built up the farm system from a wreck to one of the strongest in baseball. I don’t think there’s any question about their eye for talent. The key is development. We’re seeing it on the team this year, we’ll see a lot of it next year.”
Dipoto’s current contract has been reported to be up after this season, meaning Mariners chairman John Stanton has a decision on his hands. Groz said Dipoto still deserves a chance to see Seattle’s rebuild, which started after the 2018 season, all the way through – to a point.
“I think Dipoto inadvertently answered a tough question when he traded Graveman. He’s willing to pull the trigger on something he thinks is right, but the clubhouse reaction had to sting,” Groz said. “If I’m Stanton, depending on how the season works out, I extend Dipoto’s deal, but only for a year or two. Seattle baseball fans are at the end of their rope, so next year better be good.”
You can hear Groz’s full comments in the video below, and find more of his commentaries on the 710 YouTube channel here.