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Mariners Moose Tracks, 1/12/17: Jack vs. Jerry, Trade Analysis, and Woody Harrelson

In which I rant a little bit too long about Jack Zduriencik.

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners
They really need to put more Dipoto pictures in the photo tool
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Hello everyone! Yesterday, Jerry Dipoto essentially completed his offseason with a pair of trades. If this is your first time hearing about these moves, please direct yourself to these articles to see Kate’s wonderful breakdowns on the transactions.

What I’ve noticed in the past 18 months with Dipoto as the GM is the stark contrast between him and his predecessor, Jack Zdruiencik. I had a little bit of a tweet storm about this yesterday, but I wanted to get it down in a more concrete thought here.

It’s interesting to look back at the 2014 Mariners. The M’s were brimming with young talent in both the minors and big leagues in players such as Brad Miller, Chris Taylor, Alex Jackson, Nick Franklin, Luiz Gohara, Taijuan Walker, Brandon Maurer, and Carson Smith. Others like Jesus Montero and Danny Hultzen still had some semblance of hope as well.

In the end, it didn’t work out for any of them. They all were sent packing in the dozens of roster moves that have taken place since that season. At a time, those players were viewed as the team’s future. We as fans went through seemingly endless seasons watching Jack Z hang onto former prospects like Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, Montero and the rest. He gave them thousands of plate appearances to prove that they were busted and by then they were worth just mere table scraps on the trade market.

Today the M’s have a general manager who isn’t afraid to deal a prospect before they even display a lot of concern. Jackson and Gohara are still extremely young and in the low minors. Walker and Miller had shown hints of their ability to be the stars the team was expecting.

Almost every one of the team’s young and exciting pieces from 2014 bottomed out. You’d think that three years later such a scenario would spell disaster. And many will point to a Mariners still-bad farm system to claim Dipoto hasn’t gone about his mission of replenishing it like he promised.

But right now — despite a storm of under-performances from young phenoms in recemt years — this team is positioned to contend in 2017. Additionally, there’s a number of young players in the minors to be excited about. A lot of those guys have taken big steps forward thanks to an improved player development system. As Dipoto continues to fill that system up through the draft and through creative trades, you should see the M’s start to shoot up the farm leaderboards too.

That was a much longer tirade than I expected. Let’s get onto what you all came here for.

In Mariners news...

  • Dave Cameron wrote a quick writeup of his own on the Mariners’ first trade from yesterday.
  • Later, Cameron actually almost complimented the Mariners! The Fangraphs writer says the team is “starting to look like a team that could make some noise.”
  • Check out Marc W’s takes on yesterday’s transactions over at U.S.S. Mariner.
  • One name that not a whole lot of people are talking about from yesterday’s roster moves is Shae Simmons. However, Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs is intrigued by the young reliever.
  • Well, it didn’t take long for a Mariners fan to make a welcome/farewell video for outfielder Mallex Smith.
  • The schedule for each team’s first Spring Training workouts was released.

Around the league...

  • Grant Brisbee assigns cool names to older players in order to give them a stronger Hall of Fame case. What should Edgar’s cool name be?
  • It looks like Mickey Moniak’s friend actually got the first rounder’s name tattooed on his butt.
  • Despite the fact that the President is on his way out of the White House soon, the Chicago Cubs will visit to celebrate their World Series victory.
  • Mike Bates at MLB Daily Dish took a look at some of the biggest remaining holes on teams’ rosters.
  • Breaking news: Pablo Sandoval is in the best shape of his life.
  • Santiago Casilla is moving across the Bay. The reliever just signed a two-year deal with the A’s.

Anders’ picks...

  • Woody Harrelson has joined the cast of the upcoming Star Wars: Han Solo film. So far the announced cast includes Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, and now Harrelson. It’s an oddly well-known bunch for a franchise that generally tabs unknown actors for main roles.