Talking Mariners Podcast: Making sense of offseason, 2023 outlook
New Year, new podcast, and for this edition of Talking Mariners, Gary Hill joins me from his frozen abode in need of a hot stove perhaps more than anyone listening.
You know Gary from Mariners Radio Network broadcasts as well as host of the official Seattle Mariners Podcast, and he is always up for baseball talk – even when he is dealing with a broken furnace. Unfortunately there has not been much fuel for the fire when it comes to Mariners moves, but there was plenty to talk about nevertheless.
We start with the current state of affairs with both the Mariners and the league. It has been a fascinating offseason with the contracts given to a number of free agents and a curious lack of trades. Is what we have seen this winter a new trend or a post-CBA reaction? Whatever it is, Gary has been intrigued by the wide array of ways organizations are building their teams with some electing to go heavy in free agency while teams like the Astros, Braves and Dodgers chose to largely build from within.
“The way I view it right now, I think the most important thing you can do in baseball is develop,” Gary says in the podcast. “Develop through your system and develop with guys from the outside. I think the Dodgers and Astros have been the best with that in recent years. I think that’s the direction – (Seattle president of baseball operations) Jerry Dipoto and (general manager) Justin Hollander haven’t been secretive about that, they want to develop. That’s what we have seen from them.”
This of course has been largely on the pitching side. Offense had been much tougher to come by for the Mariners, be it by development or free agent signing. A hot topic of late has been why hitters don’t seem to want to come to Seattle. Travel is often cited as one of the cons, and Gary and I give a close up look at what the Mariners travel entails and why it is different from most.
The 60 minutes of baseball talk hits on a number of topics including the upcoming rule changes and impact they could have on the M’s, a look ahead to Shohei Ohtani’s free agency, a Seattle hitter that Gary thinks could be of bigger impact than most perhaps think, a leg up the M’s could have in a possible Bryan Reynolds trade sweepstakes, and an answer to the ever popular “Have the Mariners taken steps forward in closing the gap with the Astros?” question.