Since the season ended I have focused on attempting to grab all the major points of interest from around baseball, and offer up my brief opinions/thoughts on said subjects. While always having a Mariners-centric core to my writing. However with Winter Meetings and my extremely exhausting GM picking up players left and right, I can now dedicate an entire entry to my favorite boys in blue. Now THAT is what I’m talking about!
Do me a favor and keep reading and re-reading that first sentence. Read it until your eyes hurt from looking at the screen. Then once you have “Jerry Dipoto’s offseason has been amazing” burned in your brain, read the rest of this to show just how he’s continued to revamp the Mariners roster (plus some former Mariner news) since trading Logan Morrison and Brad Miller at the beginning of November 54486468 trades ago.
- One of the last outfield positions was filled this past week by Nori Aoki. I don’t know much about Aoki, just that he is basically a the picture of consistency. He also signed his contract in the Ichiro conference room. Who doesn’t want to hang out in the Ichiro conference room? Nobody, that’s who.
- In order to attempt to start replenishing a potential depth to extremely depleted bullpen, the Mariners signed relievers Justin De Fratus and Evan Scribner.
- Minor league coaching assignments have been set for the upcoming season.
- Two of my very favorite former Mariners Mark Lowe (Tigers) and Chris Young (Royals) both have a home for the next couple years. In his return to the Mariners, Lowe (he’s pitched a total of 6 years with the Mariners) was virtually unhittable, posting a 1.00 ERA/ 36 IP before he was traded midseason to the Toronto Blue Jays for 3 minor league pitchers. Young only spent a year (2014) with the Mariners after not pitching for a year. He was sheepishly quiet, but was also freakishly efficient in his time with the M’s. He carried that consistency to the Kansas City Royals this year, and is now a World Series champion. Congrats to both on their accomplishments!
- Another shout out to another former Mariners reliever, Shawn Kelley who signed a three-year deal with the Washington Nationals. If you’re familiar with Safeco, upon Kelley entering games the music would play, and that music brought out the best “Luck of the Irish” (I’m probably wrong on the title) dance in everyone. I searched high and low for a video of this, but for some odd reason there are none in existence.
- Cubs Claim Lefty Edgar Olmos From Mariners and Braves Acquire Right-Hander Jose Ramirez From Mariners.
- Hisashi Iwakuma has officially signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal is around $45/3yrs. The Dodgers forfeit their 1st round draft pick to the Mariners as per the Qualifying Offer, offered to Kuma at the end of the season. I will always remember screaming at my office computer, watching you pitch your first complete game and no hitter simultaneously. Then I started crying because you looked SO happy, or because I am a complete sucker for a good story in the middle of a lost season. After all, I am a Mariners fan, and my super power is finding silver linings in the midst of a storm.
- Mariners Acquire Miley, Aro In Exchange For Smith, Elias. Kuma’s departure left a spot in the rotation that was obviously going to tough to fill. The inflated free agent market for pitching does not juxtapose well with Dipoto’s style. He was not likely to ink just any very expensive pitcher to a contract well past their prime. Out of all transactions Dipoto has completed all season, this trade was by far met with the most opposition/passion/disagreement etc. Carson Smith was well liked here in Seattle, he was essentially one of the only positive arms to come out of the 2015 bullpen. He proved himself to be an overall excellent setup man and closer when needed. My confidence in Miley comes from his durability, and his ability to eat innings consistently (which helps the bullpen). Not to mention he is 29 years-old and is a lot more cost effective than Kuma in the long term.
- Adam Lind has come in via-trade from the Milwaukee Brewers to fill a first base void left by the trades of Logan Morrison and Mark Trumbo. All it cost us was three RHPs that can’t drink legally in the U.S.: Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera, Freddy Peralta.
- Low and behold, before I woke up this morning the Mariners had signed closer Steve Cishek to a 2 year deal. Cishek fits the “buy low, coming off a down year, my gosh the phrase positive regression has been used a lot in last two months” profile that we have become accustomed to in the age of Dipoto. He was super good in 2013-2014, but not terribly reliable in 2015 in between splitting time between Miami and St. Louis. Baseball is unpredictable, but we knew that didn’t we? Welcome to Seattle, Steve!
- Here is a really cool “Free Agent Budget Tool” made by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. If you wanted to keep up with how the Mariners are spending, who they’re spending on and where those players (it overviews the 25-man-roster) will be put into action come April.
- If you regularly follow me via social media, you’ll know that I recently wrote a guest opinion piece for a website called MLBBlogBuzz.com. It’s the first feature piece I’ve done outside my own blog: here is the link if you would like to check it out!
- For the grande finale, here is your most recent Seattle Mariners depth chart (click here to see regular updates)! We’re just that much closer everyone!