Seattle Mariners news has included trades, signings, and rumors over the past few weeks. The Seattle Mariners brought in Jerry Dipoto as the new general manager toward the end of the 2015 MLB season and he is off and running during the offseason. On Friday, December 4, the Mariners pulled off another trade with the Atlanta Braves. A report from MLB.com states that the Mariners traded reliever Jose Ramirez to the Braves in exchange for a player to be named later and cash.
Earlier in the day, the Mariners lost left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos, who had been designated for assignment back on Wednesday (Dec. 2). The Chicago Cubs claimed him off waivers after the Mariners decided to remove him from the 40-man roster. Olmos had been 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA over six games with the team in 2015.
As for the trade of Jose Ramirez, this was also a move to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Ramirez had pitched in five games for the Mariners in 2015, posting an 11.57 ERA over 4 2/3 innings of work. Ramirez was one of the acquisitions from the New York Yankees in a trade that sent Dustin Ackley there on July 30.
The Seattle Mariners also made news on Thursday, December 3, by signing free agent outfielder Nori Aoki. It is a two-year contract reportedly worth $5.5 million in 2016 and containing an option for $6 million in 2017. The contract also includes another $1.5 million in potential annual incentives. Aoki has a career .287 batting average and .353 on-base percentage, indicating he could do well batting first or second in the Mariners’ lineup.
The offseason has been packed with Seattle Mariners trades so far, stretching back to a major deal on November 5 with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners traded Danny Farquhar, Logan Morrison, and Brad Miller to the Rays in exchange for starting pitcher Nate Karns, pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser, and prospect outfielder Boog Powell. Karns will be in the starting rotation for the Mariners should he remain on the active roster. Riefenhauser and Mark Trumbo then got traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for first baseman and catcher Steve Clevenger.
Another major trade for the Mariners took place on November 16 with the Texas Rangers. The Mariners sent Tom Wilhelmsen, James Jones, and Patrick Kivlehan to the Rangers in exchange for pitcher Anthony Bass and outfielder Leonys Martin. Martin could become the starting center fielder for the Mariners, while Bass could come out of the bullpen.
In smaller offseason trades, the Mariners dealt Ramon Flores to the Milwaukee Brewers for Luis Sardinas and acquired Joaquin Benoit from the San Diego Padres for Enyel De Los Santos and Nelson Ward. Benoit could compete to become the closer for the team next season. Other offseason acquisitions include the team signing free agent catcher Chris Ianetta, relief pitcher Justin De Fratus, and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. The team also claimed first baseman Andy Wilkins off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and lost catcher John Hicks to the Minnesota Twins in the same fashion.
In addition to all the signings and trades, there are more Seattle Mariners rumors about what Jerry Dipoto might do next. At the top of that list is re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma to a new contract. He declined the qualifying offer from the Mariners, suggesting that a multi-year deal might be in the works. More rumors suggest that the Mariners could go after first baseman Mike Napoli after dealing away Logan Morrison and Mark Trumbo.
It is very clear that Dipoto plans to continue making moves until the roster is how he likes it in Seattle. He has hinted that the roster isn’t quite set, but did note that the current first baseman for the Mariners is Jesus Montero. This could be seen as a joke and that a move is coming to change that, or that Dipoto wants to see what Montero could do in a full MLB season. Fans should expect more Seattle Mariners news as the Winter Meetings get into full swing.
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