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Mariners Moose Tracks, 1/30/17: Dipoto’s Strategy, Brandon Moss, and 9-Player Basketball Games

Happy Monday everyone! It’s time to get the work week started with some fresh links.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone and happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed the links that Adam provided during the last couple of days.

This weekend, Jerry Dipoto made two claims that not all Mariners fans will agree with: the team is trying to win now, and they didn’t drain the farm system this offseason trying to do it.

Many in the M’s fan community have criticized Dipoto for having a “one-foot-in, one-foot-out” approach to the winter. He made moves that would certainly be classified as “buying,” such as the Drew Smyly and Jarrod Dyson deals. However, the team also made moves to get younger with swaps for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Max Povse.

Overall it seems the Mariners did commit to getting marginally better in 2017. But they never made that big move to put them over the top. A signing of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, or Mark Trumbo would have been symbolic of a buy-in for the year.

Secondly, the team did in fact strip the farm. Sure, they didn’t deal away Kyle Lewis or Tyler O’Neill (thankfully). But let’s look at the list of young prospects they did send to other clubs: Alex Jackson, Luiz Gohara, Ryan Yarbrough, Zack Littell, Paul Blackburn, Dylan Thompson, Thomas Burrows, and Carlos Vargas. That’s a lot of young talent to send out the door. The M’s didn’t have anything close to a thriving system before the offseason, and it only got worse this winter. After Lewis and O’Neill, the farm looks mighty barren.

For how much Dipoto stripped the farm system, he didn’t make the team that much better for 2017. I still have a lot of faith in Dipoto. It’s only his second year on the job and he inherited a pretty bad system in the first place. It’s forgivable if the farm didn’t get much deeper in the first couple of years, especially since he wants to capitalize on the primes of Kyle Seager, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Cano. I understand that. I just hope he has a plan for helping the farm soon, and in a big way.

Now let’s see what else happened in baseball yesterday.

In Mariners news...

  • This likely comes at little surprise, but Jerry Dipoto is very high on Mitch Haniger. I’m starting to get really excited about the young outfielder. I hope he is as good as the organizations seems to think he is.
  • Mainers CEO John Stanton spoke about a number of topics at FanFest, including the possibility of Ichiro returning to the Mariners (no thanks).

Around baseball...

  • Sports on Earth presents the 2017 all-underrated team. Apparently there aren’t any super underrated Mariners (I guess this makes Seager underrated at being underrated).
  • The Rays are thinking about shifting Brad Miller over to second base. Miller played at first for Tampa last season, where he swatted 30 home runs.
  • The Royals signed Brandon Moss to a two-year deal. The first baseman played for the other Missouri team in 2016.

Anders’ picks...

  • A men’s college basketball game over the weekend ended in a 4-on-5 due to a bunch of ejections.