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Servais praises Dipoto's roster work

New manager reaching out to Mariners' core players
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- General manager Jerry Dipoto continued putting his stamp on a revamped Mariners roster on Wednesday with his third trade at the Winter Meetings and ninth in the past five weeks. But Scott Servais, the man who'll be charged with meshing all the new pieces next season, is taking all the moves in stride.

"They're all new to me," said Servais, who was hired by Dipoto in October to replace Lloyd McClendon as Mariners manager.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- General manager Jerry Dipoto continued putting his stamp on a revamped Mariners roster on Wednesday with his third trade at the Winter Meetings and ninth in the past five weeks. But Scott Servais, the man who'll be charged with meshing all the new pieces next season, is taking all the moves in stride.

"They're all new to me," said Servais, who was hired by Dipoto in October to replace Lloyd McClendon as Mariners manager.

The 40-man roster has undergone a 37.5 percent turnover with 12 players added via trade and three new free agents, after Seattle's acquisition Wednesday of first baseman Adam Lind from the Brewers on the third day of the Winter Meetings.

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"We talked about it early on, wanting to get a different look to our team," Servais said. "That's what we focused on. Obviously, Jerry has done an awesome job trying to go out and acquire players that fit the mold he's looking for.

"We've been aggressive. I don't think people understand how hard it is to make trades. But we're getting after it."

Video: Scott Servais joins the crew of MLB Tonight live

In Servais' mind, the makeover is necessary. The club went 76-86 last season and hasn't reached the postseason since 2001, the longest playoff dry spell in the Majors. He's watched the team from the other side as farm director of the Rangers and Angels the past 10 years.

Things weren't working, so change was inevitable.

"Seattle has not won in a long time," Servais said. "And the expectations are high, from ownership and team president and the fans. They should be. It's time. It's time to win. Jerry knows that we're going to have to do something a little bit different with our roster and how we play to get a different result. That's why he's doing it."

Tweet from @MLB: New @Mariners skipper has one thing on his mind. #WinterMeetings pic.twitter.com/JAVMtdxkfX

Servais has spent his first month on the job getting to know some of his new group and establishing rapport with core players Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker and others.

"I've talked to 10 to 12 players face to face, many more on the phone, trying to get a feel and let them get a feel for me, first of all, and kind of what I'm like," Servais said. "More importantly, I'm listening to them and where they're at. Everybody is at a different point in their career, and I feel it's important where I'm at to listen to them.

"That includes Mike Zunino, who we consider a high-end prospect who's going to have a very successful Major League career. ... I've been in the Dominican talking to Nellie, I've talked to Robbie, Ketel Marte down there. I met with Felix and Walker. I talked to a lot of guys. I learned a lot about where they're at, and I think they've learned a lot on where they're going to go."

The group will gather for the first time together in Peoria, Ariz., in two months, with pitchers and catchers set to report on Feb. 19.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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