Jump in activity has kept Hot Stove burning
GM Dipoto's overhaul of Mariners' roster highlights flurry of transactions
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Scorecard sales will be brisk in Spring Training. As the proverbial vendor's call goes, "You can't tell the players without a scorecard," and Major League teams have been shuffling the talent at a dizzying pace.
Does it seem to you that big leaguers this offseason have come and gone at an unusual rate? You aren't mistaken. At the approximate midpoint of the Hot Stove season, a total of 106 have changed uniforms.
And we are talking only players who appeared in the bigs in 2015 and will suit up elsewhere in '16.
Johnny Cueto is No. 106, after the ex-Royals righty agreed on Monday to a six-year contract with the Giants.
New Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto appropriately got the ball rolling on Nov. 5 -- only four days after the conclusion of the World Series -- with a six-player deal in which he acquired righty Nathan Karns, lefty C.J. Riefenhauser and Minor League outfielder Boog Powell from the Rays in return for infielder Brad Miller, first baseman Logan Morrison and righty Danny Farquhar.
We say "appropriately" because Dipoto has been the offseason's chief mover, turning over the Mariners' roster with nine newcomers who have prior big league experience.
Ground rules for our Hot Stove snapshot: It includes only players who appeared in the Majors in 2015 and have either been traded or signed away as free agents; from the aforementioned Seattle-Tampa Bay deal, thus, Powell is not included among the 106. Waiver-wire moves are also excluded.
With the majority of free agents still on the loose, there is a lot more action to come. That market includes big bats Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Mike Napoli and Alex Gordon, as well as big arms Scott Kazmir, Mike Leake and Yovani Gallardo.
How does the pool of 106 compare to traffic in recent years? It is a jump of about 25 percent over the number of players who have moved between the end of the World Series and Dec. 14:
• 2014: 78
• 2013: 82
• 2012: 85