Dipoto Show: Why Mariners trades might come together quickly

Oct 28, 2021, 11:54 AM
Mariners Jerry Dipoto...
Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto looks on before a game against the Angels on Oct. 1. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Baseball’s offseason, with expected twists and turns due to the expiration of its collective bargaining agreement, will begin sometime next week as the World Series comes to a close. For many Mariners fans, the postseason has felt less like an appetizer for what is to come this winter and more like an annoyance keeping them from the main event.

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That would be a potentially sizzling Hot Stove, with general manager/president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto having been given permission by Mariners ownership to increase payroll significantly from what was spent in 2021.

Then there is the possibility of trades. While teams are not allowed to sign free agents until five days after the completion of the World Series, trades can occur 24 hours after the final pitch. In his end-of-season press conference, Dipoto said that he anticipates being “very aggressive out of the gates” when the market opens. And conversations with other teams have already begun, as he said Thursday morning.

“The teams that are not involved in the postseason, we talk on a daily, weekly basis. (We) check in with the other teams, determine what their direction is, where you might match up in trade,” he told Mike Salk during the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show, which airs live at 8:30 a.m. every Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle.

The work for the moment is preliminary, but it’s expected to escalate quickly with the start of general manager meetings Nov. 9 in Carlsbad, Calif.

“That has turned into more of the trade hub than the winter meetings,” said Dipoto. “Most of the discussions and the real heavy lifting in getting trades done starts, even culminates, at the GM meetings. Between that time in early November and the start of the winter meetings in early December is where it really gets done.”

What happens in December remains to be seen with the very real possibility of a lockout once the current CBA expires at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 1. If the lockout does occur, it will come in an offseason that Dipoto anticipates will have a very different landscape than recent years.

“Because so many teams, we spent the better part of the last six years in a league that was very much dominated by, let’s call it the super teams,” he said. “What the Astros have been, where the Yankees were, where the Red Sox were. You could even include the Cleveland Indians in there for a good amount of time. I think we’ve graduated from that point in the AL. There no longer appear to be obvious super teams moving forward.

“There were a lot of teams that were in the middle and or that have gone through recent rebuilds that I think are ready to emerge. That’s going to make for a very interesting offseason because now instead of four teams running the table, you have got I think roughly eight or 10 teams that view themselves as being in a position to contend next year, and that should make for a very interesting month of November for sure and I think offseason in general.”

You can listen to the full episode of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jerry Dipoto Show, which includes his thoughts on Abraham Toro’s eventual landing spot on the field and how new ownership member Ken Griffey Jr. can help this winter, at this link or in the player below.

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