Late last night when reasonable, rapidly aging bloggers were tucking themselves into bed, the NY Post (who definitely should have been asleep already) tweeted out a hot rumor:
Now we aren't going to turn LL into another accelerant in the non-stop rumor spin cycle. Teams talk, and they talk all the time, about things we probably can't even imagine! Also, if you want to have fun trying to force your fingernails through your palm you can consider Andrew's fun tweet:
Brad Miller in 2015: .258/.329/.402, wRC+ 105 Brett Gardner in 2015: .259/.343/.399, wRC+ 105 Neither play was particularly good defensively
— Andrew Rice (@Andrew_Rice) November 11, 2015
Ha ha that Andrew, always puts a smile on your face. Anyway the point isn't to pick apart the pros and cons of every rumor. The point is that's just one in a multitude of "Mariners interested in outfielder x" stories floating out there. Here's another one from Ken Rosenthal regarding Gerrardo Parra. Rosenthal also mentions numerous other outfielders the team may target, like Leonys Martin, Jackie Bradley Jr., and other, more Cardinaly players.
Again, none of this is particularly newsworthy on an individual trade level. But Rosenthal doesn't write about stuff without knowing stuff, and it's very evident that one of the Mariners primary goals this offseason is upgrading their comically thin outfielder depth. This all goes back to things Dipoto said at his introductory press conference:
"The Mariners need to pitch, they need to catch it and they need to be athletic," Dipoto said.
Those are the kinds of outfielders we're seeing talked about - fast, rangy, defensively adept players, almost a complete 180 degree turn from the focus of the latter stages of the Zduriencik regime. We're all still getting to know Jerry Dipoto, but at present he appears, much like Horton, to mean what he says and say what he means. Personally I find that refreshing; parsing every quote for cryptic clues on what an executive is actually communicating is exhausting and usually futile.
It's still so, so, so early in the offseason. But it feels like Dipoto is ready to work and work fast, much faster than we're accustomed to. I went back and checked when Jack Zduriencik's famous JJ Putz/Jason Vargas/Franklin Gutierrez trade went down and it wasn't until December 11, a full month later than today and almost five weeks after this year's Brad Miller trade.
This is all spinning a lot out of very little, but in the early days of new leadership we have so little we know, and so much we desire to. From what we can tell the Mariners are very, very serious about acquiring at least one defensively-minded outfielder, if not more, and Jerry Dipoto seems to be a man with a very clear idea of what he wants his baseball team to be. I am of a mind that there are many potentially successful avenues in most parts of life, and that often it isn't the idea that fails, but the commitment to it. Dipoto, today, doesn't seem to doubt himself even a little.
I think things are about to change. A lot.