Mariners’ Dipoto: One thing from MLB lockout could improve offseason

Apr 18, 2022, 11:15 AM
Mariners Jerry Dipoto...
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto looks on before a game against the Houston Astros on April 15. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners, like the rest of Major League Baseball’s franchises, endured a 99-day lockout instituted by the league this offseason, ceasing all activity during a time when the hot stove is usually at its hottest.

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“I mean, we weren’t busy at all,” Mariners general manager and president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto recalled to Wyman and Bob in an interview before the team’s home opener Friday. “The months of December and January were particularly quiet.”

And yet the lockout actually created something that Dipoto thinks the league should take a closer look at – and even take a cue from.

In the week prior to the MLB lockout, which started on Dec. 1, the offseason market was perhaps the busiest it’s ever been. The Mariners played their part, trading with the Padres for All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier on Nov. 27, then signing 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray two days later.

With teams knowing the league would shut down activity for an indeterminate amount of time, teams and players felt a sense of urgency in those final days before the lockout. It resulted in the kind of transactional frenzy that the other major pro sports leagues have manufactured themselves by setting various deadlines for free agency in the offseason.

“It was discouraging in one way,” Dipoto said of the lockout, “but the week that led into (it), especially the 48 hours prior to the lockout, were to me one of the most exhilarating two-day stretches in my career in terms of offseason activity and what it did for baseball.”

What happened in those days just before the lockout, where baseball seemed to find its way into the center of the national sports conversation, is something Dipoto would like to see recreated in a way that doesn’t require the league actually shutting down.

“(It was so exciting) to the point where I think we need to find some way as a league to create some type of moratorium that focuses all of the offseason energy (on a shorter time period) like they do in the NFL or the NHL,” he said. “There was so much fun packed into those days with big free agents coming off the boards, big trades happening.”

You can hear Dipoto’s full comments, plus much more on the Mariners, in the podcast at this link or in the player below. You can also hear the M’s GM every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM’s Jerry Dipoto Show (podcasts here).

More from Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto

Something Mariners starter Logan Gilbert has that’s reminiscent of Nolan Ryan
With J.P. Crawford and new personalities, Mariners’ clubhouse “a joy”
Jerry Dipoto Show: The latest on Mariners’ Kyle Lewis, George Kirby
New Mariners 3B Eugenio Suárez holding up his end early

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