SHANNON DRAYER

Drayer: Mariners still have all options on table after Adam Frazier trade

Nov 27, 2021, 12:20 PM
Mariners Adam Frazier...
Adam Frazier of the San Diego Padres scores against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 31. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The first domino has fallen. How will it impact what follows for the Mariners this offseason?

Mariners get All-Star 2B Adam Frazier in trade with Padres

After the announcement of the acquisition of second baseman Adam Frazier from the Padres early Saturday morning, Mariners general manager/president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto met with reporters via Zoom for about 15 minutes.

He talked about the player himself, his fit with the current Mariners roster and took questions on the landscape of the offseason with an MLB lockout now under five days away. And what about the impact of the Mariners’ first signing?

We will just go ahead and work backwards on this one and get to the quote of most interest for Mariners fans.

“We do,” Dipoto answered when asked at the end of the media session if he has offers out to free agents. “We do have two offers on the table. One that I would say is notable.”

A small laugh followed the answer from Dipoto, who was upbeat throughout the interview session. The increased activity due to the uncertainty of what happens after Dec. 1? Almost welcomed by the Mariners president of baseball operations.

“This month has been a bit of a rush,” he said. “It’s been fun. The activity in discussing trades with other teams, the interaction and meeting with free agents, initially we have planned to sit down with three or four and that number has doubled. We were broken up by the holiday but otherwise have had at least one meeting every day for just about the last week and are set up to do the same headed into this week.”

Interestingly enough, the additional sit-downs with free agents, according to Dipoto, are not a result of what we have seen in the market picking up as we get closer to the potential lockout. Rather, it has to do with the first puzzle piece for the Mariners falling into place.

“Once we were able to acquire Adam Frazier, we were able to start spreading our wings in different places,” said Dipoto. “That was one player we weren’t going to have to go through the free agent market to acquire. This was more of a fixed cost for us. We generally know what Adam Frazier’s rate of pay was going to be, which allowed us to better assess how far our dollars were going to go on the free market, which resulted in us reaching out and connecting with our top pitching targets. That’s what doubled our meeting sessions.”

Whether or not one of the “top pitching targets” is the “notable” player Dipoto was referring to when he stated the Mariners have two offers out remains to be seen, but that is the market that has most developed to this point. That of course wouldn’t have precluded Dipoto from putting an offer in front of a “notable” position player, and on that front, all doors remain open despite the acquisition of Frazier thanks to the versatility he and those already on the Mariners roster provide.

“One of the real appealing parts of this is with guys like Ty France, Abraham Toro and now Adam Frazier, Dylan Moore, the versatility these guys have allows us to do so much in creative lineup building and doesn’t stop us from continuing to go out and search for the bat impact we are trying to find in this market,” he said.

The Mariners can plant Frazier at second base if needed, but Dipoto hopes to be able to use him in another manner.

“We believe that there are a lot of opportunities to move him into left field and maximize the handedness matchups we might be able to achieve,” he said.

With Frazier’s track record he could be considered an impact bat – just not of the power variety. His bat-to-ball skills and ability to control the zone – he’s struck out just 315 times in 2,443 career plate appearances – are highly valued by Dipoto.

“He just answers the length to the lineup riddle,” he said. “He just makes us a better, more complete team. He can hit at the top of the lineup, he can move the lineup from roughly any position. He can play second, he can touch third, he can play both left and right. That just gives us so much flexibility in what we do with the other players.”

The first move has been made, and because of the flexibility of both the player and others on Seattle’s roster, all options remain on the table.

“As we sit here and work our way through the free agent market or the potential for trade, we feel like adding Adam made us a deeper team without stopping us from doing anything else we wanted to do,” said Dipoto. “That’s double the fun. We can continue to add to the team because Adam is so versatile.”

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