SEATTLE — The standard dizzying offseason whirl of trades and signings have been changed with a extra pedestrian method by the Seattle Mariners this 12 months.
Common supervisor Jerry Dipoto mentioned Tuesday that is by design and a sign of the place he believes the Mariners are with their roster getting into the subsequent stage of their rebuilding plan.
“We do not really feel like we have been quiet, or sluggish,” Dipoto mentioned. “If that is what it appears to you all, I apologize. I do know it isn’t our regular fee of exercise, however that’s extra the place we’re in our construct, really. We have added fairly a bit to our group already.”
That is to not say Dipoto will not be busy over the subsequent month earlier than the Mariners report for spring coaching in Arizona. Whereas the first focus going into the 2021 season goes to be the continued growth of Seattle’s younger stars — highlighted by AL Rookie of the 12 months Kyle Lewis — and the eventual arrival of some high prospects, Dipoto nonetheless has must fill earlier than the beginning of the season.
Primarily, Dipoto wish to see one other arm or two added to the bullpen, one other attainable beginning pitcher introduced into the combination and a left-handed bat for the lineup, both at second base or as a utility participant who could possibly be a part of the outfield rotation.
“It has been a slow-to-develop offseason market, significantly on the high of free company, however that hasn’t actually been a spotlight for us,” Dipoto mentioned. “I feel you’ve seen over the course of significantly this final 4 or 5 weeks that the market is transferring, and also you’re beginning to see a number of gamers that you just acknowledge, recognizable names coming off the board.”
The first focus of Seattle’s offseason to this point has been on enhancing a bullpen that was among the many worst in baseball a season in the past.
Thus far, that is meant the additions of Rafael Montero by way of commerce from Texas and the signing of Keynan Middleton as a free agent. Seattle additionally signed right-handed starter Chris Flexen to a two-year deal.
The dearth of strikes is partly as a result of the Mariners will go into spring coaching and the beginning of the season nonetheless making an attempt to study a few of their very own gamers. Can Lewis replicate his Rookie of the 12 months efficiency over a full season? Can J.P. Crawford play Gold Glove shortstop for a full season? What about younger beginning pitchers Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn?
The truncated 2020 season gave Seattle a style of what a few of its younger prospects may deliver. However till they’ll show it over an extended stretch, Dipoto plans to stay cautious about making any splashy strikes.
That mentioned, if the Mariners discover themselves sniffing round a playoff spot come midsummer, Dipoto’s method may change.
“If issues break nicely for us and we get into midsummer, and we keep near this factor and we do have a chance to sneak up on the again of the playoff area, that is a chance for us and can be a purpose,” Dipoto mentioned. “Younger groups are likely to jell faster than you may suppose. We will not go in anticipating that we will run to the highest of the American League West. However I feel we are able to set the purpose of competing for a playoff spot and we’ll see the way it goes.”