After re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma, GM Jerry Dipoto is satisfied with the Mariners’ rotation, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. The Mariners had already added Wade Miley and Nate Karns in trades this offseason. “Now if you line up a rotation with Felix (Hernandez) and Wade Miley and James Paxton and Taijuan Walker and Nathan Karns and add Hisashi Iwakuma, that gives us the kind of depth and innings we want to get out of our starting rotation,” says Dipoto. “We’re very happy with that group.” Dipoto notes it’s crucial to have more than five pitchers capable of making solid starts. He adds that, even though it had looked like the Mariners were already at their budget limit prior to the Iwakuma signing, it took “less than five minutes” to get the Mariners’ ownership to approve spending once Iwakuma’s deal with the Dodgers fell apart and it became clear he was available. Here’s more from the AL West.
- In an offseason in which salaries for setup men have skyrocketed, the Rangers’ bullpen is talented and cheap, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. That means they could potentially use a reliever to upgrade elsewhere, or they could keep all their current talent to provide the team with a variety of strong relief options. Wilson notes that GM Jon Daniels said at the Winter Meetings that other teams asked him about ten different relievers. And even beyond closer Shawn Tolleson, the Rangers have plenty of other bullpen options with at least some closing experience, including newcomer Tony Barnette, who registered 41 saves for Yakult in Japan last season.
- It might be in the Angels’ interest not to exceed the $189MM luxury tax threshold for next season, if only because of the headache it could cause this time next year, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes. Fans might argue that if the Angels exceeded that threshold for 2016, they could get back under it when Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson’s contracts expire after the season, meaning that they would avoid the escalating penalties for repeat luxury tax offenders. The problem is that they’re already committed to spend a significant amount in 2017 (and will have non-mandatory, but necessary, expenditures for arbitration-eligible players like Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago and Kole Calhoun). They’ll also likely have to spend to bolster their rotation, infield and bullpen.