Dipoto: How will games before trade deadline impact what Mariners do?

Jul 27, 2023, 12:02 PM | Updated: 2:21 pm

Seattle Mariners Jerry Dipoto...

Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners at batting practice on July 18, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the MLB trade deadline less than a week away, the Seattle Mariners enter their day off Thursday two games over .500 and 4 1/2 games back of the third American League wild card spot.

What Dipoto says Seattle Mariners are looking to do at trade deadline

The deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. Pacific. Before then, the Mariners have three games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, who are a half-game back in the National League wild card race, and one game against the Boston Red Sox, who are above the M’s in the AL race.

How important are these next few games in deciding what the Mariners do or don’t do at the trade deadline? Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto discussed that and much more Thursday morning during his weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“They’ll play some (role), and they always do,” Dipoto said of the team’s next four games. “Your team’s performance should define what you do.”

“We typically focus on ourselves and we try to maintain that throughout,” he later added. “But you get into this time of the year, especially around the deadline, and a lot of it does matter where you stand among other teams in the league and what the likelihood is of being able to jump that train, so to speak.”

Are ‘rentals’ an option for M’s?

While Dipoto said he dislikes the term “rental” for a player that’s on an expiring contract and will hit free agency after the season, that doesn’t mean the Mariners won’t look at adding players like that at the deadline this year.

“We’re not opposed to bringing in a short-term roster fit. It depends on what you have to give up to get it,” he said. “We’re not willing to purge future Mariners teams, and what that could be for our future, unless we feel like that is a player who puts us over the top. And I think for it to be a player who puts you over the top, you have to be close to the top in order to make moves like that, if that makes any sense.”

Those kind of “rental” players are the ones who are most likely available right now, Dipoto said, and it’s unclear how many players with multiple years of club control may be moved.

“I don’t know if many teams are really open to trading players beyond those that are short-term right now. We haven’t really seen that move yet,” Dipoto said.

A big move in Seattle’s own division came on Wednesday night with the Los Angeles Angels acquiring right-handed starter Lucas Giolito and reliever Reynaldo Lopez for two top prospects. Both Giolito and Lopez are set to hit free agency after this year.

“It does establish a baseline. There are other players of that quality that are gonna get moved in the next week or so,” Dipoto said of the Angels’ move. “At least presently, we have spent almost all of our time focusing on players that we feel make more sense for us moving forward. And based on market prices, that could change for us in the next six days or so again, depending on what the return (is). We’re not opposed to acquiring any type of player if they fit, provided it makes sense for the present and future of our organization.”

Listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the podcast player near the top of this post. The Jerry Dipoto Show airs live at 8:30 a.m. each Thursday during Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

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