The Mariners aren’t favorites to push for a playoff spot in 2021, but if they’re in contention during the season, making a deal for a controllable starting pitcher is “definitely” something they would consider, general manager Jerry Dipoto told MLB Network Radio on Monday. Dipoto, who’s never shy about making trades, said Seattle would “jump at” the chance to better its rotation if the opportunity presents itself. The Mariners are slated to begin the season with Marco Gonzales, James Paxton, Yusei Kikuchi and Justus Sheffield as locks in a southpaw-heavy group of six, while righty Chris Flexen will take up a spot and Nick Margevicius and Justin Dunn are competing for the last position.
- Giants left-hander Alex Wood is dealing with a stiff back and will visit a spine specialist, Kerry Crowley of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. It’s troubling news for Wood, whom injuries have slowed in the past, including during the previous two seasons. Wood threw just 35 2/3 innings as a Red in 2019 while battling back problems and then totaled only 12 2/3 frames last year as a Dodger on account of shoulder issues. The Giants nonetheless signed Wood to a $3MM guarantee, and if he’s healthy, he’s expected to occupy a spot in their rotation. For now, though, it looks as if the Giants’ season-opening starting staff will consist of Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto, Anthony DeSclafani, Aaron Sanchez and Logan Webb.
- More unwelcome news for the Giants’ pitching staff, per Crowley, who reports that right-hander Dedniel Nunez sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and will go for a second opinion. San Francisco took the 24-year-old from the Mets in last December’s Rule 5 Draft, but the Giants could elect to cut ties with Nunez in the event of a serious injury.
- Outfielder/infielder Jorge Mateo is in good position to earn a roster spot with the Padres, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com writes. Mateo, who’s competing against Brian O’Grady and Jorge Ona for a bench role, joined the Padres in a trade with the Athletics last June and went on to make his major league debut. The former top 100 prospect hit a weak .154/.185/.269 without a home run during that stretch, however, and with no minor league options remaining, it could be a make-or-break spring training if he’s going to stick with the Padres.
- The Angels announced that righty Felix Pena departed their game Monday with right hamstring irritation. There haven’t been further updates on Pena’s status. Since his first year with the Angels in 2018, Pena has eaten up plenty of innings (215 2/3) and pitched to a 4.34 ERA. He finished third among Angels relievers with 26 2/3 frames last year.