Mariners notebook: Jerry Dipoto continues to look for arms
The Winter Meetings are underway in National Harbor, Md., and so far it’s been relatively quiet for the Mariners.
General manager Jerry Dipoto is looking for starting pitching, and that market – both free agent and trade – will take some time to sort itself out now that most of baseball is in one place. In his daily meeting with the local media, Dipoto said that there had been plenty of discussions Monday, but “nothing imminent.” If a starter was to be acquired in the next four days, however, he predicted it would be through a trade.
As for what he has accumulated so far this offseason in pitching, Dipoto echoed what he said last week on “Brock and Salk.”
“Depth is not as big a concern to us as now trying to establish some level of higher impact or greater stability at the Major Leagues,” he said.
One piece of business did get done as the Mariners agreed to terms on a one-year contract with catcher Jesus Sucre, who was first-year arbitration eligible. We could see Sucre on the move before the season starts, however, as he is out of minor-league options.
• Add another to the depth pile. In his talk with the media, Dipoto mentioned the addition of minor-league free agent Christian Bergman. The right-hander, who Dipoto called a “super strike thrower,” has been up and down with the Rockies the last three years, starting 15 games and making 40 relief appearances.
• The Mariners expect to have a large number of players in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. “We are going to be supportive of it and as a rule we always will be,” Dipoto said. “I think it is a great event. It gets the competitive juices flowing. It gets guys in a baseball work sense before the spring starts. Generally speaking, it’s good for the Mariners, it’s good for the world.” Dipoto confirmed that Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz would be allowed to play some winter ball in the Dominican Republic to get ready for the WBC.
• Health updates: As he said on the Hot Stove podcast last month, Dipoto expects Steve Cishek to be ready to return to games some time in April. Tony Zych is expected to be a full-go when spring training starts.