Arkins: Reflections From Dipoto Island

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is a man on an island. Not literally, but in a figurative sense. You see, the 49-year-old executive appears comfortable entering the upcoming season with his current stable of starting pitchers. Few outside his organization feels the same way. By and large, fans and local media members believe the rotation is the Mariners’ weakest link. If it is not addressed in a big way, the club’s 16-year postseason drought will drag into 2019. Naturally, Dipoto pushes back against such criticism. He routinely points out…

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Arkins: When M’s Pull Starters Critical To 2018 Success

By design, starting pitchers are going deep into games less often. Instead, teams are turning to relievers earlier than ever before. This philosophy has considerable merit, especially with more clubs building bullpens capable of repeatedly delivering quality innings. Why start the sixth inning with a back-of-the-rotation arm when a better option is warming up in the bullpen? Mike Petriello of MLB.com agrees. He recently identified six starters who may benefit from short, successful starts, rather than longer, mediocre outings. Petriello’s candidates perform well early, but fall off the proverbial cliff after facing a…

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The Seattle Mariners Have Payroll Space

The Seattle Mariners payroll is not shrinking by design. They’re not out of money. And they’re not being cheap. In case you were wondering why the club has yet to make an actual splash this offseason. There are numerous possible reasons for the Mariners’ lack of aggressiveness in free agency, the obvious one being: most of the markets have yet to develop, and the one that has is the one road Seattle has travelled this winter: relief pitching. But the Mariners are not up against their payroll limits for 2018….

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Arkins: History Does Not Favor King Felix

Recently, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times suggested the Seattle Mariners needed a healthy, revived Felix Hernandez to have a chance at the postseason in 2018. If that turns out to be the case, Mariner fans are likely to feel an all too familiar sense of dread once October rolls around. Why my grim outlook? History does not favor pitchers with a combination of Hernandez’s experience (13 seasons) and mileage (2,502 innings). Especially when that pitcher has been trending downwards as Felix has. That is a reality some Mariner fans…

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Arkins: Mariners Improve Bullpen, More Is Needed

They weren’t the flashiest of moves. But, the Seattle Mariners improved their bullpen today. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reports the Mariners agreed to terms with free agent Juan Nicasio pending a physical. Early today, the club acquired right-hander Shawn Armstrong from the Cleveland Indian for international slot money. After spending most of his career as a starter, Nicasio was a workhorse reliever this year appearing in 76 games — third most in the majors. The 6-foot-4 Dominican is adept at missing bats (9 K/9) and allowed just five home runs…

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Arkins: Forget Ohtani, The Winter Meetings Are Here

Falling short in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes certainly dealt a blow to the Seattle Mariners’ offseason plans and their fans’ psyche. Still, the club has an opportunity to help its outlook when the Winter Meetings begin tomorrow. It’s not as if Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has been sitting around idly waiting for the Ohtani courtship to play out. Since July, the third-year GM has added 15 players from outside the organization to his 40-man roster. Among Dipoto’s newest additions: second baseman Dee Gordon, pitchers Mike Leake, David Phelps, Marco Gonzales,…

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Arkins: Jon Jay, Best Fit For M’s?

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, momentum is developing towards a possible deal between the Seattle Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Seattle needs a replacement for Jarrod Dyson; also a free agent. Last season with the Chicago Cubs, Jay was the prototypical fourth outfielder; a role he’d likely fill with the Mariners. The native Floridian appeared in 141 games, splitting time between all three outfield positions. Source: Mariners and OF Jon Jay are talking. No deal done, but seems as though there’s…

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Mariners, Dipoto Continue Slow-Burn Rebuild

Twenty-six months have passed since Jerry Dipoto became general manager of the Seattle Mariners; a job he eagerly accepted with eyes wide open. Dipoto knew he was inheriting a flawed roster with some of its best players approaching decline. Moreover, it was common knowledge Seattle’s farm system was barren and not generating sufficient talent to support the big league club. So far, Dipoto’s short tenure in the Emerald City has yielded mixed results. The Mariners were a fringe contender in 2016, but were an afterthought in a mediocre American League this…

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