With Jerry Dipoto at the helm, we’re accustomed to preparing for moves constantly - particularly during the offseason, when Dipoto’s phone seems to be eternally illuminated. However, the Mariners first major change of the offseason is not a trade, or player signing, but a personnel shift:
There are three ways you can interpret this news, each of which hinges on how you feel about the organization as a whole:
- The Mariners were never going to truly be able to fire the man whose name decorates Safeco Field’s street, and franchise record books. Dipoto’s quotes about Edgar approaching him and Scott Servais about “his desire to find a position of value within the organization that would provide more flexibility than the role of Major League hitting coach” is classic snake oil salesman malarky. Seattle wants to shake things up, particularly after the collective offensive slump doomed them in the second half, and Edgar’s just gotta go. We can celebrate him when he gets into the Hall of Fame this year, and maybe then we can finally move past the 90s/2000s nostalgia.
- By all accounts, Edgar has been a valued hitting coach, with players and other staff singing his praises. There’s little reason to believe the Mariners were unhappy with his work, but it feels entirely plausible that, after 22+ seasons of the baseball season grind, Martínez wanted a role that would offer him more flexibility, and more time to be with his family (his children are currently 23, 16, and 13). This new position also gives him an opportunity to work with prospects throughout the organization - players who are much more actively changing their swings and approaches than MLB players who tend to make smaller adjustments, particularly during the season.
- Eh. This wasn’t totally expected, but it’s not a complete shock either. Maybe the M’s wanted someone new, maybe Edgar really wanted more life flexibility. Both seem plausible, but ultimately this is just a shrug. Can we get to the real baseball moves yet?
Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, two things are for certain:
- The Mariners now find themselves in the market for both a pitching coach, and a hitting coach.
- Edgar Martínez belongs in the Hall of Fame.