Dipoto seeks first baseman, relief help next
Seattle GM lands Miley on Day 1 of Winter Meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jerry Dipoto has already proven to be one of the most-active general managers in the Major Leagues this winter, and he doesn't plan on slowing down after finalizing a trade Monday that will bring left-hander Wade Miley and reliever Jonathan Aro to Seattle.
Miley's addition finalizes Dipoto's plans for the rotation, but he's still studying the first-base market and plans to bolster the bullpen after dealing setup man Carson Smith along with lefty starter Roenis Elias in the deal with the Red Sox.
A source indicated the Mariners talked with the Brewers about a potential trade for veteran first baseman Adam Lind on the first day of the Winter Meetings. Dipoto declined comment on that, but acknowledged first base is a prime target after trading Mark Trumbo and Logan Morrison among the seven deals he's made this winter.
"Obviously we have some deals we're working on," Dipoto said. "There are a lot of discussions we've had, both with free agents and possible trades. It's definitely an area we want to improve. I can't tell you which way it's going, but we're addressing it every day and have been for quite some time. This is not a new development."
Lind, 32, is under contract for next year at $8 million after hitting .277/.360/.460 with 20 home runs in 149 games last season.
The Mariners are believed to also have interest in free agent Mike Napoli, a good glove man and well-regarded veteran who owns a career .355 on-base percentage and hit 18 homers with 50 RBIs in 407 at-bats for Boston and Texas last year.
Dipoto said much of the remainder of the Meetings will also revolve around pursuing relievers, after trading away Tom Wilhelmsen, Danny Farquhar and now Smith while adding potential closer Joaquin Benoit as well as Aro, Anthony Bass and Justin De Fratus.
"We have quite a few meetings set up with potential bullpen candidates," Dipoto said. "That will be our primary focus the rest of our time here."
In other news Monday:
• The Mariners signed right-hander Donn Roach to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League camp. Roach, 25, pitched 16 games (including one start) with the Padres in 2014 and made one start for the Cubs last season. He's 1-1 with a 5.35 ERA in those 17 games and was 7-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Iowa last season.
"Combined with what we return in-house in Triple-A and the fact Vidal Nuno and Anthony Bass have the ability to stretch out and start games, we feel we have a level of cover for the five-man rotation, and we'll continue to look at it as the season goes on," Dipoto said.
• Two former Mariners agreed to deals that included considerable pay hikes. Reliever Mark Lowe, who signed with Seattle on a Minor League deal last season, reportedly agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract with the Tigers. Chris Young, who won AL Comeback Player of the Year honors with Seattle in 2014, agreed to a two-year, $11.75 million deal to re-sign with the Royals.