Former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto is expected to be the first external candidate to interview for the Mariners’ GM vacancy, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Dipoto resigned this summer after a highly publicized feud with Halos skipper Mike Scioscia and has since taken an advisory role with the Red Sox. The Mariners fired Jack Zduriencik in late August and are said to prefer an experienced general manager to step into the GM’s chair.
Here’s more from the AL West…
- Mike Zunino won’t return to the Mariners in 2015, writes Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Instead of being recalled to the big league roster in September, he will report to the instructional league to “overhaul” his swing with hitting coach Cory Snyder and Edgar Martinez. The 24-year-old Zunino, formerly the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, batted just .174/.230/.300 in 386 plate appearances this season. Zunino unquestionably has power — he hit 22 homers in 2015 — and is considered a very strong defender, but he’s highly strikeout prone and has a career .193 average/.252 OBP. Many feel that he was rushed to the Majors, and for what it’s worth, he obliterated Triple-A pitching in a small sample after being demoted the day Zduriencik was fired.
- Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs — a player for whom Dipoto traded on two separate occasions — tells Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times the he, his agent, his doctor and the Angels will discuss an innings limit for 2016 this offseason. Skaggs will enter the 2016 campaign about 18 months removed from Tommy John surgery. The story, of course, comes in the wake of the Matt Harvey controversy — a scenario which Skaggs says he wants to avoid.
- David Paulino, whom the Astros acquired in the 2013 trade that sent Jose Veras to the Tigers, has shown very serious big league potential and emerged as a “steal” for Houston, opines Fangraphs scribe James Chipman. Paulino has battled injuries throughout his pro career but has made huge strides with his fastball and curveball over the past nine months, writes Chipman. If he can hone his changeup, he’s a potential mid-rotation arm, but if not, he could still be a high-leverage reliever. Chipman’s piece includes video and a full scouting report.