Mariners’ Dipoto looking for pitching help, open to trading for ‘impact’

Jul 14, 2022, 2:20 PM | Updated: 2:46 pm

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)

The majority of the biggest moves made by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto have come in trades, and it’s safe to assume he’ll have some tricks up his sleeve in the next few weeks with the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline coming up.

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What is he looking for? And what does the market look right now? He shared some insight on Thursday morning during the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show on Seattle Sports.

Only one position was named by Dipoto as something the Mariners are in the market for, and that’s a pitcher. While the surging Mariners (47-42 entering Thursday) have relied upon a stellar starting rotation that has completely avoided injury to this point, Dipoto knows he can’t count on that continuing. He also has to keep in mind potential innings limits for the younger members of the rotation, chiefly rookie George Kirby, who is currently on a brief Triple-A stint for the specific reason of limiting his workload.

“Fingers crossed, we have been very healthy on the pitching end, especially in the starting rotation,” Dipoto said. “We’re doing a lot of work on the market right now to try to determine if there is an opportunity to add to our staff, to add that arm that maybe relieves some of the pressure that many of the other guys are carrying right now, or innings load that they’re carrying. That’s probably the one obvious thing we can look at.”

This trade deadline has a wrench thrown into the mix, however. Actually, make that two.

First, there is an extra wild card playoff spot in both the American League and National League, which is likely to create more buyers than usual on the trade market. So while Dipoto wouldn’t mind doing something splashy at this deadline, he’s also tempering expectations.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to do any more or any less than we can we did to add at last year’s deadline. I know the narrative gets lost – we did add Tyler Anderson and Diego Castillo and Abraham Toro, who played very well for us through the tail end of last year, and we performed well. So we’re not looking to to do any more than than what we did last year. But… if there is a chance to add impact, we will. I just don’t know where that is. … Whether we are able to land impact, there’s been a lot of injuries around the league, and a lot of teams right now are playing very well. So it’s a matter of teams that are in a playoff position, those who are competing, and there might not be the flush market that you’ve seen in years past.”

The second wrench being thrown in is the fact that the MLB Draft starts Sunday and will take place over the three-day All-Star break. The draft used to take place in June, which provided ample time for MLB front offices in between it and the trade deadline, but this is the second straight year it will take place in July.

“It’s such a slow market right now and I do think that is more of a communication issue circling around, you know, draft room conversations,” Dipoto said. “We’re confident that something will happen and this market will start to shift. … The market is still developing. There’s no certainty at this point who’s buying, who’s selling, which players may or may not be available… and I think a lot of that has to do with despite the fact that we’re two weeks from the trade deadline, we’re also in the in the throes of of our draft meetings. So a lot of teams right now are focused on the the amateur draft that starts on Sunday. I want to say in some way that is probably slowing down the trade market to some degree.”

You can listen to this week’s full edition of The Jerry Dipoto Show in the podcast at this link or in the player below. The Jerry Dipoto Show airs at 8:30 a.m. live every Thursday on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM, and the Seattle Sports app as a segment during The Mike Salk Show.

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