It has been only TWO WEEKS since the 2015 season ended. Ugh. Only two, but Spring Training will be here before you know it! At least that’s what I keep telling myself… It’s already been a busy offseason and I swear (really) it is not my personal bias when I say this, but the Mariners have been all over the trade wires and do not show any signs of stopping. Just ask FanGraphs. This sense of urgency is new for us loyals in Seattle and I know I’m not alone in saying that I am absolutely excited to see the complete product come April. Aiming always for complete transparency, I am still very optimistically hesitant to put all my love and trust into the Dipoto regime. That being said, there is nothing he has done this off season that has not made sense. Needed some pitching insurance? Hey Nathan Karns! We needed a closer? Here comes Benoit. Established defensive center fielder? Chalk up one in the win column for you, Leonys Martin.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my “Baseball is a Family” post, the Mariners franchise needs someone to step up and DO something. Back the moves up with clear logic and reasoning. We’re tired of the weight of disappointment. We need someone to make this community believe again, and Jerry Dipoto seems to fit that bill… So far. My only complaint is why trade the likable guys like Miller and Wilhelmsen. I know I can’t get attached to personalities, but just give me this one *goes to watch Tom Wilhelmsen dancing videos*…. No one can say with completely certainty that all these trades Dipoto is making will work out by season’s beginning. Only time, team chemistry and a myriad of other factors (actual playing ability for example) will be the true determinant. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and Mr. Dipoto, I can hear your words loud and clear.
MARINERS NEWS (Mr. Dipoto likes to work fast so hold onto your hats this is going to go quickly):
- GUTI GUTI GUTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Franklin Gutierrez signs a 1-year deal to return to the club in 2016. Reportedly 1.5 million guaranteed with some odd 4 million in performance bonus. Even if Dipoto had not made a single other move this offseason, it would have been okay because GUTI IS BACK Y’ALL.
- Minor league players Enyel De Los Santos and Nelson Ward were traded to the Mariners’ national league counterpart, the San Diego Padres for closer Joaquin Benoit.
- Jerry’s second multiplayer trade in less than two weeks included sending Tom Wilhelmsen (thanks for the constant smiles, Bartender), James Jones (my GOODNESS i’ll miss your baserunning you fast guy you) and a player to be named for Leonys Martin and RH pitcher Anthony Bass. My understanding and memory of Martin is overall positive except for his numbers last year, and if we wrote off all players after one bad year we wouldn’t have much to talk about now would we? We needed a defensive minded center fielder. Martin’s main value has always been with his arm and his glove. In case you haven’t picked up on Dipoto’s main concern it is most certainly DEFENSE. Martin plays center field, well. HATE (times a million) to see Tom go, but a good center fielder for the right price? You make that trade everyday.
- Nelson Cruz won his first ever Silver Slugger award! Nelson contributed mightily to the 2015 Mariners by hitting .302 (!) / 93 RBI (!!) / 44 HRs (!!!), and please Nelson just keep being you.
- Colby Rasmus/HOU & Matt Wieters/BAL & Brett Anderson/LAD apparently took my last post about my predicting that the trend of no accepted qualifying offers continuing as a challenge. Those three gentleman will all make $15.8 MM this upcoming year no matter how good (or bad who knows) they play in 2016. If they so happen to not play well they cannot get traded until mid season.
- The Atlanta Braves upped the trade of the off season by trading extremely valuable, dynamic shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Angels for Erick Aybar, Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis. This trade happened about one week ago and experts are still debating (as I imagine they will until April) if the Angels or the Braves got the better end of that deal. The AL west faithful in me hopes that answer is the Braves.
- Dave Dombrowski started his tenure in Boston off with an assertive move, trading Manuel Margot, Logan Allen, Javier Guerra and Carlos Asuaje (all minor league players that should make an impact in San Diego) to the San Diego Padres for closer Craig Kimbrel. The former 2011 NL rookie of the year comes over to Boston to try and revive a lackluster RedSox bullpen.
- Kris Bryant (NL) & Carlos Correa (AL) are your ROOKIES OF THE YEAR! I saw Kris Bryant’s nod coming the minute I saw him clobber 32483472374 home runs in spring training this past year. He has been special from the beginning and will do so so so many good things with the Cubs. Like Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa did not make his club’s opening day roster but developed into one heck of a leader for his club.
- In addition to our dearest Nelson, here is a complete list of Silver Sluggers for the 2015 season.
- A huge congratulations to Jeff Banister (AL) and Joe Maddon (NL) for winning the BBWAA Managers of the Year! Banister was the manager behind a Texas team that went from worst record in the AL West (2014) to AL West division champions (2015), that got as far as the ALDS and lost in 5 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Maddon took the youthfully talented Cubs to a 97-65 record in a stacked NL Central division. They were one series win away from going to the World Series, but fell short to the New York Mets in the NLDS.
- AL GOLD GLOVE WINNERS:
- NL GOLD GLOVE WINNERS:
I’ll close in saying vote #GriffeyEdgar2016. Go Mariners. That’s all for now everyone. Happy week 3! Enjoy!