September 20, 2018

Seattle Mariners 2015 Winter Meetings Review

December 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Now that the 2015 Winter Meetings held at the Opryland Resort and Conference Center down in Nashville, Tennessee are over it’s time to look at each team’s status as buyers or sellers in this year’s market. This edition highlights the busiest team of this offseason thus far, the Seattle Mariners.

The total revamp of the northwest franchise was spearheaded by Jerry Dipoto, who was signed as the new general manager in September after the team’s firing of Jack Zduriencik, and since then Dipoto has been the busiest man in baseball; heck, maybe busiest man in the sports industry.

Dipoto, known for his years at the helm of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2011-2015, and the key moves that brought in sluggers Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and burner C.J. Wilson while  developing Mike Trout, made him one of the hottest GM’s of baseball.

So what has this mastermind GM done for his new team since the offseason officially opened only 40 days ago? Nine trades, eight free agent signings, five waiver claims and a new skipper in the dugout—essentially the 12 days of Christmas for baseball fans.

Let’s look at the moves made just this week at the winter meetings by the caffeinated Dipoto. Three trades that addressed each of the team’s needs—starting pitching, 6-7 inning relief pitching and first base.

The first trade happened in the opening hours of the meetings on Monday, December 7,  after the team heard their number two starter, Hisashi Iwakuma, would be leaving for a 3-year, $45 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The need for a new 2-3 quality starter aroused. Dipoto enacted “Plan A-1” trading for LHP Wade Miley and RHP prospect Jonathan Aro of the Boston Red Sox for LHP Roenis Elias and RHP Carson Smith.

A trade of this nature was expected with the short time Dipoto was with the Red Sox as an adviser before he signed with the Mariners. What was surprising was the fact the Mariners were willing to give up their closer of the future in Carson Smith. Smith broke into the league during the 2014 season, pitching in nine games of relief without allowing a run. This past season he compiled 70 games of work while posting a 2.31 ERA and a phenomenal 11.8 SO/9. While Aro has found success in each level of the minors, but has yet to find his stride in the majors.

Of course the two centerpieces of the trade was the one-for-one of Roenis Elias and Wade Miley. Their career averages are eerily similar—a 3.97 and 3.95 ERA, respectively—however, the Mariners receive a proven workhouse who will consistently pitch over 200 innings with a possible All-Star season or two, while the Red Sox receive a blossoming flex starter whose only problem seems to be is consistency.  Miley will probably slide into the third spot of the rotation behind Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker.

Need one- Check

On the second day of the meetings the Mariners traded RHP Trey Cochran-Gill for RHP Evan Scribner of the Oakland Athletics. Scribner comes to the Mariners as a potential set-up or 7th inning relief option. Scribner has had some hit or miss seasons with the A’s and Dipoto expects him to rebound this year. Trey Cochran-Gill has blazed through the Mariner’s system and lines up to be a staple for the A’s future bullpen.

Need two- Checkish

December 14th

Update: The Mariners have signed veteran free agent closer Steve Cishek to a 2 year/$10 million deal loaded with incentives. Team DFA’s Rob Rasmussen to free up roster space.

Need two- Check

Day three came with all the hype that First Base slugger Adam Lind was getting traded, the Mariner’s camp was the leader in the discussions. The Mariners were in need of a new first baseman after Dipoto had traded away the incumbent platoon of Mark Trumbo and Logan Morrison. After hours of discussion the Brewers settled on the asking price of three teenage RHPs; Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera and Freddy Peralta. Adam Lind is the proverbial platoon first baseman—he mashes right handed pitching, and is a terrible hitter against lefties (if you can even call it hitting). He will most likely get most of the games at 1B splitting time with Jesus Montero/Steve Clevenger/Andy Wilkins, who destroy left-handed pitching.

Need three- Check

December 14th

Update: Andy Wilkins has been claimed off of waivers by the Texas Rangers. He was DFAed when the Mariners acquired Adam Lind from the Brewers

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