MLB Network’s Amsinger: Mariners may target more relievers in trades

Jun 19, 2018, 4:20 PM

The Mariners may need to add some relievers to take pressure off closer Edwin Díaz. (AP)...

The Mariners may need to add some relievers to take pressure off closer Edwin Díaz. (AP)


The Mariners could use some help in their rotation, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been linked to Toronto’s J.A. Happ in trade rumors this week.

There might be another way to address those concerns about starting pitching, though, as MLB Network host Greg Amsinger told Bob, Groz and Tom on Tuesday.

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“(Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto) might instead go the Washington Nationals route and just continue to add to the bullpen,” Amsinger said. “That’s what we’ve learned from the postseason – you shorten the game. At the moment, the Mariners have three starters they really like, and if they do get to the postseason, maybe that’s what they do instead.”

If the Mariners do indeed focus on making their bullpen one of their biggest strengths, they’re already off to a good start after nabbing former Rays closer Alex Colomé in a trade late last month. Colomé has mainly served in a setup role for Seattle, but he’s also been able to step in to take the ninth inning when closer Edwin Díaz has needed rest. That may be a bigger priority as the season wears on, as Díaz already has an MLB-leading 27 saves, only eight behind Francisco Rodriguez’s record for saves at the All-Star break. This year’s All-Star break, by the way, isn’t for almost another month.

“Adding Colomé was smart. As much as Edwin Díaz is the closer right now in baseball … you cannot expect him to be at this level for (the rest of the season),” Amsinger said. “Adding a guy like Colomé who’s got the experience in the ninth inning was brilliant, a great way to get ahead of it. But they’re gonna need another arm.”

One potential target Amsinger mentioned is Colorado’s Adam Ottavino, who just returned last week from the disabled list for a sore oblique but owns an impressive 0.89 ERA and 0.66 WHIP. Amsinger sees an impact arm in the bullpen like Ottavino more attainable than the front-line starter the Mariners may be looking for.

“The Mariners are going to have to continue to add to the bullpen,” he said, “because I don’t really see the starter out there that’s going to be the big Band-Aid they need to get past the wild card game.”

You can listen to the full segment with Amsinger in this podcast of Bob, Groz and Tom’s Tuesday show.

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