Good morning and happy Wednesday everyone! Yesterday Marc W at U.S.S. Mariner cautioned the Mariners against standing pat with the roster as currently constructed for 2017.
The argument he outlines is a very convincing one. Marc seems to be along the line of thinking that 2017 is the last chance the M’s have for success with the current core of stars. A lot of things could certainly break right for the team which would shoot them into playoff contention. But there’s also the potential for the team to crumble.
It does seem like Dipoto has been operating this offseason with a one-foot-in-one-foot-out approach to contending. To his defense, he’s in a tricky spot. The team has an aging core but it also has a depleted farm system. It’s a toxic combination. His mission is to improve the talent in the minors without staggering the progress of the major league club.
In my opinion, Dipoto has done an excellent job with this. He’s made smart, medium-impact trades to cut costs in the right places and set the team up for success while still nurturing top prospects like Tyler O’Neill and Andrew Moore.
However, Nelson Cruz is a time bomb. King Felix is declining. Hisashi Iwakuma and Robinson Cano are getting older and soon they’ll be less effective too. It makes sense for the team to cash in on this season without trading away players like O’Neill. So if the team has money to spend, it shouldn’t be pocketing it for later. Not unless the M’s have something big up their sleeves. With Jerry, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Now let’s see what else is going on in baseball.
In Mariners news...
- Buster Olney runs through his list of the top 10 relievers in baseball. Its an insider-only piece, but he has Edwin Diaz as #8 on the list.
- Safeco Field will serve as a viewing party for the Seahawks playoff game on Saturday.
- Mike Petriello pegs James Paxton as a potential breakout candidate for the 2017 season.
Around the league...
- Drew Storen has agreed to a one-year contract with the Reds after throwing in Seattle for half of a season.
- Apparently former Mariners prospects aren’t allowed to go anywhere except for the AL East, because Jesus Montero just agreed to a minor league deal with the Orioles.
- The Cubs are close to a deal with our favorite Japanese middle infielder Munenori Kawasaki.
- Eno Sarris at Fangraphs takes a look at the best pitches from the 2016 season. The list includes Mike Montgomery’s changeup and Diaz’s slider.
- The Giants might look to add more bat-flipping goodness to their lineup as they’re reportedly active in talks with the KBO’s Jae-Gyun Hwang.
- Nick Stellini of Fangraphs thinks Mike Mussina deserves to be in the Hall of Fame even though the pitcher never won a Cy Young award.
- Two recently-born babies in Chicago were named in honor of the Cubs.
- The Royals and Diamondbacks agreed to a minor trade, sending outfielder Peter O’Brien to Kansas City.
- The Oakland A’s have reunited with outfielder Rajai Davis on a one-year deal.