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Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto: ‘Polar league’ something M’s have to work around ahead of trade deadline

GM Jerry Dipoto will lead the Mariners through the July 31 trade deadline. (Getty)

It’s no secret that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto likes to do the majority of his work through trades, which means we’re entering what may as well be considered Dipoto Season.

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That would be the period leading into the July 31 MLB trade deadline, which has a new wrinkle added this year. While in past seasons the July 31 deadline only affected non-waiver trades, allowing teams to freely make deals with players that clear waivers for an additional month, this season the July 31 deadline applies to all forms of trades in the league.

That’s something that could benefit the Mariners as sellers, as MLB insider Jon Morosi told Brock and Salk last month. But only if the market gets going.

So, how is it going? Dipoto pulled the curtain back Thursday during the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore, and it sounds like he has his work cut out for him.

“It is a very polar league,” Dipoto said. “Part of what we are doing as a team (going through a rebuild) is because of the way the American League in particular is stacked up. There are some dynamic teams right now with the Rays and Yankees, to a degree the Red Sox as the defending champs, the Houston Astros, and the team that we just played, the Minnesota Twins, (who) might be better than all of them. And once you get past that layer in the American League, the gap widens considerably, and many of the teams at the top don’t have a lot of pressure on them, nor do they have a lot of holes to address.”

For a team like the Mariners, who have several veterans they’d like to trade for prospects and younger players that can be part of their future, that lack of parity in the AL could stand in the way of what they’re hoping to do before August.

Dipoto isn’t deterred, however, and he said the market is starting to move with last week’s MLB Draft in the rear-view mirror.

“As is usually the case, the traffic has really picked up since the draft ended and the phone is starting to ring and and we’re placing some outgoing calls,” he said. “I suspect, like we believed from the very start, that we will be active between now and the deadline. I don’t think it’s going to be a mass exodus, so to speak, because there just aren’t that many needs around the league, but we’re going to try to make efficient moves that maximize the potential return for our future, and we do plan on continuing forward with the plan we put in place.”

Dipoto covered much more during his weekly show, including thoughts on Daniel Vogelbach’s All-Star candidacy, the Mariners’ draft class and how he felt seeing his son Jonah picked by the Royals in the 35th round. You can listen to the full show in the player embedded in this post or download the podcast version here.

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