Mariners’ Dipoto details Flexen trade, gives Miller injury update

Jul 6, 2023, 12:09 PM

Seattle Mariners Bryce Miller...

Mariners pitcher Bryce Miller throws against Oakland on May 24, 2023. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

The Seattle Mariners made a notable trade this week, sending two pitchers to the New York Mets in exchange for a left-handed reliever.

The full deal: Seattle acquired southpaw Zach Muckenhirn and New York got Chris Flexen and Trevor Gott.

Seattle Mariners trade Trevor Gott, Chris Flexen to New York Mets

Flexen was DFA’d by the Mariners recently, as was Muckenhirn by the Mets.

New York promptly DFA’d Flexen once the trade went through, effectively meaning the Mets took on the remainder of Flexen’s contract to acquire Gott.

So why and how did this deal come to fruition? Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto discussed that and more during his weekly show on Seattle Sports.

“I mean, you make trades for a lot of different reasons,” he said. “In this case, some combination of it was an opportunity to find (Flexen) an opportunity … Ultimately what we did with the Mets is we attached Trevor Gott. Sometimes you make trades for the benefit of what’s happening on the field, sometimes you make trades for the benefit of what’s happening on the business (side). And it was more of a business decision than a talent decision.”

“It’s a trade that we would make over and over,” Dipoto later added. “Trevor did a good job for us. Chris, for two years, was one of the most productive pitchers we had. This was not one of those years, and we made a decision that we thought was smart for the future of the organization.”

Is this a sign that the trade market is heating up? The MLB Trade Deadline is less than a month away (Aug. 2).

“We’re not really there yet. It’s mostly draft talk,” Dipoto said. ” … It’s 10 hours a day talking through how these players line up for us, and it’s 29 other teams doing the (same) thing. And the closer we get to the start of the draft – which is this coming Sunday – the more prominent that becomes. Not shockingly with three first-round picks, we’re dialed in. This is what we’re doing right now, and the other teams are in the same boat. And about next Thursday, we’ll start really humming on what’s happening as far as the trade deadline.”

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When will Bryce Miller return to the Seattle Mariners?

Standout rookie pitcher Bryce Miller struck out six batters in his first three innings of work against a dangerous Tampa Bay Rays lineup last Saturday, but in the fourth inning, he started dealing with a blister under his right fingernail.

That blister wound up impacting Miller, who left in that fourth inning after allowing a walk and home run, and he was ultimately placed on the 15-day injured list.

“With Bryce, we don’t think that’s a big issue to deal with,” Dipoto said. “We had … an opportunity since the All-Star Break was buffered against this series coming up in Houston of essentially skipping this last start with Bryce – which (would have been Wednesday) – (and it) would be the last start that he would make in the first half.”

Miller’s spot in the rotation came up on Wednesday, and veteran lefty Tommy Milone got the start in Miller’s place in San Francisco.

“It was a bad blister. It was puffy, it’s painful, he was not able to play catch for the first couple of days after his last start,” Dipoto said. “And we thought it best just to skip this start and the combination of being wise with a young pitcher who needs to be at full tilt before he gets back there on the mound, and then coupling that with the All-Star Break, which allowed us by skipping one start to take two weeks off for Bryce Miller and really only miss one start. The goal is that unless something goes wrong with the rehab process on what we think is a very mild concern, that we will see him on the other side and start versus Detroit when we get past the All-Star Break.”

Listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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