Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto says that he’s not interested in acting as a seller at the deadline, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News-Tribune reports. Though the GM intends to “look into everything, that doesn’t mean he’ll consider parting with any major pieces from the major league roster.
“We’re not going to rip this thing down,” said Dipoto in a statement that would seem to take some of the more drastic possibilities off of the table. We haven’t heard any real chatter involving Seattle’s biggest names, but teams have at least asked about young pitchers James Paxton and Taijuan Walker. Certainly, parting with either of those potentially foundational arms would go beyond the organization’s apparent appetite for change.
That being said, Dipoto didn’t rule out some limited sales. He explained further:
“I’m not a big believer in moving the short-term player just because he’s a short-term player, but if there’s a way for us to get better — whether its in the present or the near future — we’ll do it. You’re not going to see us making trades for rookie-ball players and starting a full-scale rebuild. We are in a position to be very competitive. We feel like if we have one nice hot streak at the right time, we could be there.”
There are certainly some assets who could fit the bill for a change of scenery, with the M’s perhaps having a chance to recoup some value while parting with a piece that wasn’t of critical importance to the present season. Struggling veterans Adam Lind and Joaquin Benoit are examples cited by Dutton; both are pending free agents who are in the process of being replaced by younger options (Dan Vogelbach and Edwin Diaz, respectively).
Lefty Wade Miley comes with further control, but the Mariners may be ready to move on from some of his contract. One rival evaluator tells Dutton that he could imagine a late market coming together on the southpaw. If Seattle goes a step further, it could consider parting with players such as Seth Smith and Steve Cishek, but both are solid contributors who can be kept for another year.
Truth be told, with the organization still well within striking distance of both the AL West and the Wild Card race, there’s not much cause to break up the core, or even the non-core regulars assembled around it. As Dutton notes, there’s a real opportunity with the schedule set to ease up and some injured players filtering back from the DL. With a still-new front office and ownership group in command, there’s plenty of reason not to pack it in on the 2016 season at this juncture.
If anything, Dutton hints, the Mariners could consider looking to add if they’re able to tighten things up yet further over the next few days. There’s an argument to add arms, but the prospective returns of Walker to the rotation and Nick Vincent to the pen may obviate that need. Shortstop looks to be one area of concern, with Ketel Marte struggling even before being diagnosed with mononucleosis.