New Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto touches on a variety of topics in a wide-ranging interview with Larry Stone of the Seattle Times. Here are some of the highlights.
- Dipoto says he is not planning a full-scale rebuild, and therefore is not looking to trade core players like Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz or Felix Hernandez. “The greater likelihood is, we’ll focus on those four guys, and Taijuan Walker, as the core we’re trying to build around,” says Dipoto. “And we’ll have to be more creative in finding ways to augment that group, rather than using that group to build a new program.”
- Dipoto hasn’t yet seen rookie shortstop Ketel Marte play live much, but he sounds open to the possibility that Marte could play the position full-time.
- The GM reiterates that re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma will be a priority, as was previously reported this week.
- Dipoto says he would be happy with Tom Wilhelmsen as the Mariners’ closer next year, but adds that another possibility is that he could also acquire another reliever to close and use Wilhelmsen as a setup man.
- Dipoto praises hitting coach Edgar Martinez but has not yet committed to Martinez remaining in that position 2016.
- The GM is aware that the Mariners could get a protected top-ten pick in next year’s draft if they do poorly this weekend, but he says he hasn’t discussed that topic with manager Lloyd McClendon. “It’s something that as a team-planner, an organization builder, I’m aware of the value that’s associated with that,” Dipoto says. “But as a former player, and understanding how it works out there, I try to turn the volume down in my head. Because these guys have to go out and compete.”