Dipoto: Mariners may use deadline to ‘better situate’ team for 2024

Jul 20, 2023, 9:41 AM | Updated: 11:49 am

Seattle Mariners...

Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners watches batting practice with manager Scott Servais on July 18, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

After another frustrating loss on Wednesday – this time a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Twins – the Seattle Mariners are back under .500 with the Aug. 1 trade deadline less than two weeks away.

During his weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto discussed what’s happening with his team and what the organization could do at the deadline.

“I think so many of our guys right now realize the urgency and our need to get on a roll that’s beyond win four and then lose four,” Dipoto said. “It’s been a very back-and-forth season … We’re a .500 team. That’s about as mediocre as you’re going to be, and we’ve done it in a very .500 way. We never separate very much from the win two and lose two-type scenario. And typically a team gains more traction in one way or the other, and we’ve just not been able to find that.”

Dipoto called the Mariners “average” offensively, and that they have to find a way to be better than that moving forward.

“It’s going to require some creative moves because we don’t have a next wave of bats at Triple-A ready to come and push us over that edge,” Dipoto said. “We need our young players to step forward moving forward, and we’re probably going to need to address something from outside as well.”

Dipoto stressed a few times that the Mariners don’t have much MLB-ready depth at this stage to come help the big league roster.

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“We’ve tapped into our organizational depth at this point. I’m not sure that there’s much more there that we can go tap into,” he said.

That, naturally, led to conversations about the trade deadline.

“We are headed into the trade deadline. We’ve not really separated ourselves in a meaningful way to be aggressive on the buying end, but we’re constantly trying to find ways to make ourselves better,” Dipoto said. “We’ll use these next couple of weeks of July to consider those ways, whether it’s better to make a push for the ’23 season or to better situate ourselves for ’24.”

Host Mike Salk then asked Dipoto if that meant selling in some fashion isn’t off the table for the Mariners.

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“No, and it never has been,” Dipoto said. ” … We are always one foot in the camp of buyer and one foot in the camp of the seller, believing that the best way to approach any trade deadline is with the mindset of ‘how do we make the Mariners better?’ And it’s a broad question that can be answered in a lot of ways. In years past, we’ve done a little of both. Last year, we were very aggressive in the trade market for what I would call ‘the big fish’ when we were able to land Luis Castillo. This year, we’re probably not going to be in that market. We’re going to be more in the ‘margins market’ or trying to find a way that we can get a little bit better in ’23 and better situate ourselves for ’24 because one way or the other, we’ve learned a lot this the first half of this season.”

Whether it leads to a more aggressive deadline approach or not, how can the Mariners flip the script and start finding more positive momentum?

“Like last week, like the week before, like every week that I’ve come on and talked to you since we’ve experienced these struggles, that’s going to happen with our young players taking the step forward,” Dipoto said. “And it’s going to happen when players with real track record start finding some traction. And it’s got to be more than one at a time. Leading into the break, we had a couple of hot hitters and we won seven out of 10. That’s the thing is having more than one hot hitter. Coming out of the break, (Eugenio Suarez is) swinging the bat pretty well, (but) not a lot is going on up and down the lineup otherwise, really … So we have to figure out how to get multiple hitters moving in the same direction to score runs … And we have to get back to doing what we do on the on the pitcher’s mound and getting ahead of hitters and being efficient in our pitch counts to get deeper in games.”

Catch every edition of The Jerry Dipoto Show at this link

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