Seattle Mariners trade rumors continue to follow general manager Jerry Dipoto around, but he has stated that moves to improve the offense have come to an end. A report by MLB Network Radio relayed an interview conducted with Dipoto. The interview included the Mariners GM addressing the recent trade of starting pitcher Taijuan Walker for shortstop Jean Segura and outfielder Mitch Haniger. Dipoto stated that acquiring Segura ended his pursuit of a leadoff hitter and that he projects Haniger to be an “everyday outfielder.”
While Dipoto has stated that he is content with the additions to improve the offense, he was also quoted as stating that he would like to find one more starting pitcher. With the trade of Taijuan Walker, the team still has Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Nathan Karns, or Ariel Miranda as potential players who could be part of the starting rotation. If Dipoto finds another arm, it would likely mean that either Karns or Miranda would get bumped out of that spot.
As for the loss of Walker, Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. has a lot of positive things to say about the young pitcher. This is something that should please Arizona Diamondbacks fans who may have felt that this was a risky deal to make. Stottlemyre was quoted in a report by the Arizona Republic.
“There’s so much upside in this guy. I know a lot of people have waited for him to kind of come around and put things together. I think he was starting to do that this last month. When he can find himself, he’s got a chance to be a beast. Until then, like all young players, he’s going to have some ups and downs. But I’m convinced he’s headed in the right direction and he can move forward now with his game plan and his approach.”
There have been a number of Seattle Mariners trade rumors this offseason, with the front office already making a number of transactions as well. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the new players haven’t been limited to just Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger. The Mariners have also traded for catcher Carlos Ruiz from the Los Angeles Dodgers and utility man Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics. Jerry Dipoto completed several trades that exchanged minor league players with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays as well. This is in addition to releasing pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen and outfielder Stefen Romero.
Jean Segura is the big “get” from the offseason, potentially giving the Seattle Mariners a huge asset at the top of the lineup. During the 2016 MLB season, Segura played in 153 games for the Diamondbacks. In 694 plate appearances, he had a.319 batting average, 0.867 OPS, 203 hits, 102 runs scored, 68 extra-base hits, and 33 stolen bases. On paper, he is the perfect addition to a lineup that still includes Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager. Heading into Spring Training, he is slotted as the leadoff hitter, with the No. 2 slot still open for competition among the invited players.
While there are a lot of Seattle Mariners trade rumors that still seem to link the team to players like Andrew McCutchen or to players like Ian Desmond in free agency, Jerry Dipoto may have put that all to rest with his interview.
“Our focus is on the pitching. We’re very comfortable with our position players. We would like to find one more starting pitcher”
So what will the Mariners and Dipoto do next? Many MLB analysts claim that the franchise is going after a “front line starting pitcher,” but no source has actually placed a name with those stories. Mariners fans would certainly like to see someone like Chris Sale, who the Chicago White Sox are shopping on the trade market, but he would be a very expensive acquisition. It does appear that Dipoto is looking for the right deal to improve the starting rotation, so fans will want to pay close attention to any Seattle Mariners trade rumors coming out of the Winter Meetings.
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