The Mariners’ spirited attempt to sign Shohei Ohtani ended in heartbreak when the Japanese ace/slugger signed with the division-rival Angels last week. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto acknowledged that he was disappointed in the outcome when speaking about Ohtani’s decision Monday. He was gracious in defeat, though, telling Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and other reporters that he’s “happy for” Ohtani and expects he’ll be “a great fit” in Anaheim.
With the Ohtani dream dead, the Mariners have been monitoring the free agent market for pitching, Dipoto revealed. “We have a sense that the market is starting to pick up. I feel like we are in a deal making zone,” he said (Twitter links here). Along with searching for pitching, Dipoto is looking to trade some of the international bonus pool money the Mariners acquired when they were trying to increase their chances to sign Ohtani, Greg Johns of MLB.com tweets. Dipoto also suggested that there won’t be anymore big additions to a Mariners position player group that just landed Dee Gordon. Instead, any new pickups are likely to come via waivers, minor league deals or the Rule 5 draft.