LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It has already been a busy offseason for general manager Jerry Dipoto, but that doesn't mean the Mariners won't continue to be in the middle of things as the Winter Meetings play out over the next four days.Though Seattle missed out on its top target,
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It has already been a busy offseason for general manager Jerry Dipoto, but that doesn't mean the Mariners won't continue to be in the middle of things as the Winter Meetings play out over the next four days.
Though Seattle missed out on its top target, Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, Dipoto has already engineered deals to acquire Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy to fill holes in center field and first base, respectively.
Dipoto and a group of about 20 Mariners executives arrived over the weekend to join the fray in Florida to swap ideas -- and possibly more players -- as representatives of all 30 Major League teams gather in the same hotel. Myriad player agents and media members will also be at the annual four-day offseason conference, which begins Monday and runs through the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning.
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Dipoto has yet to respond publicly to Ohtani signing with the Angels or how that impacts the Mariners' plans going forward, so that figures to be one of the topics when he meets with the media for his first update on Monday.
We'll have reports from Dipoto's media gatherings each day, and manager Scott Servais is also slated for an interview session at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
Dipoto has made five trades already this offseason -- acquiring Healy from the A's for reliever Emilio Pagan and Minor League infielder Alexander Campos, Gordon and $1 million in international bonus pool money from the Marlins for a trio of Minor League prospects, reliever Nick Rumbelow from the Yankees for a pair of Minor Leaguers, $1 million in international bonus money from the Twins for catcher David Banuelos and $500,000 in international bonus money from the White Sox for reliever Thyago Vieira.
Speaking to reporters prior to Ohtani's decision to sign with the Angels, Dipoto said Seattle was still intent on adding at least one pitcher, though he insisted he's not as worried as many observers about the team's situation there.
Last year's crush of injuries led Dipoto to acquire Mike Leake, Erasmo Ramirez and Marco Gonzales in the final two months of the season, and they will join returners James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Ariel Miranda and Andrew Moore in competition for starting spots.
Clearly the Mariners hoped to add Ohtani to that mix, but this was Dipoto's thinking earlier in the week in regards to Seattle's arms:
"Our pitching is probably a little deeper than most are giving it credit for being. The addition of a household name is probably not forthcoming. But we do intend to add to our pitching staff, whether it be in the 'pen or the rotation."
Has that outlook changed, now that Ohtani has cast his lot instead with the rival Angels? Stay tuned.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.