Dipoto doesn't find fit as Deadline passes

Mariners GM had already made 3 trades since July 20

July 31st, 2017

ARLINGTON -- With Jerry Dipoto, it's more surprising when he doesn't make trades, it seems. But after engineering three deals in the previous 11 days, the Mariners ultra-active general manager stayed pat at Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I think they must have put him in handcuffs to keep him from texting other teams," joked manager Scott Servais.

But in reality, the Mariners had already made the moves that made sense to them. Rather than mortaging the future in a very difficult market for the limited number of big-name starting pitchers, Dipoto made three smaller moves to bolster the club both for now and beyond.

The Mariners landed right-hander from the Rays on Friday for reliever , and Ramirez will start Tuesday against the Rangers in place of struggling rookie .

Seattle also acquired promising young left-hander from the Cardinals on July 21 for outfield prospect and veteran right-handed reliever from the Marlins for four prospects on July 20.

Those deals were made with an eye on the future as well as the final two months of this season, with the Mariners entering Monday 3 1/2 games out of a Wild Card berth at 53-53.

Dipoto noted that Gonzales is under team control for six years, Ramirez through 2019 and Phelps through next season.

"That was an important element for us," he said. "What we've done over the past day and a half was circle back and see if there was the opportunity to buy low on any kind of rental upgrades for any players that were pending free agents, and nothing really fit or worked for us.

"Ultimately, we decided to stand down. As was the case last year, we'll remain attentive to the August trade waiver deadline and see where the next month takes us."

Players who clear waivers can still be dealt, and last year Dipoto acquired outfielder Ben Gamel as well as relievers and Pat Venditte in August. Dipoto's one Trade Deadline deal last year was sending to Baltimore for , who has helped solidify this year's rotation.

The Rangers dealt pending free agent to the Dodgers on Monday and the A's sent to the Yankees, but the market for starting pitchers was costly.

"You saw a couple guys go, but there weren't many," Dipoto said. "I've said throughout it was not a robust trade market for available starters. I think you'll see a fair number of starting pitchers available in August once the trade waivers are cleared or secured.

"Obviously the names like Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish and are top of the food-chain starting pitchers. We touched base on all those guys through the course of the process, dating back to late May and early June, and clearly we were not able to reel them in."

Dipoto doesn't shy from making deals where he sees a benefit. The Mariners have made 49 trades in the 22 months since he took over as general manager, including 23 since the end of last season.

But after the three recent moves to address their pitching future, Servais wasn't surprised nothing more happened at the Deadline.

"We made some moves leading into it, so it went as I thought it would go," Servais said. "You're always looking at what other teams do. But the good organizations stick to their philosophy and core, which is what we're trying to do here. I like our team. We have an interesting couple months ahead of us, and it will be fun to play out."