Mariners Make More Moves, Roster Looks Different

By Stevil, January 10th, 2017

Jarrod Dyson flashing a horn-call when asked if he likes HardballviaHardcore. Photo by John Sleezer, Kansas City Star.

On Friday, the Seattle Mariners swapped odd-man-out Seth Smith for Yovani Gallardo and cash, then almost immediately flipped Nate Karns for Jarrod Dyson. Fans may struggle to understand the move for Gallardo, but it's simple: Smith, despite having a decent bat, was an expensive liability in the field. Gallardo is an expensive starting pitcher who's a strong candidate for a rebound, having addressed a biceps injury and being just one year removed from 7 straight successful seasons. Dipoto preferred the arm. Probably preferred his smooth smile as well, and really, who could blame him?

Smith is a dick. Remember that Home Run he hit at the end of the 2015 season which cost the Mariners the number 10 draft pick--a protected pick? Yeah, so did Jerry, and upon news of this trade, his teammates showed him the door--but not before shaving his head and tattooing a flying penis on his lower back. That report has yet to be confirmed, but I think it's safe to take it to the bank.


Fortunately, Baltimore didn't appear to be bitter about the Miley-Miranda trade from last season. Fortunately, the Mariners probably won't have any more trash to unload in Camden Yards for a while.

Some fans may struggle to understand the Karns-Dyson trade as well. Count me in that camp. I can honestly say that I would not have guessed that Dyson could be acquired for Nate Karns. Think this isn't Dipoto one-upping me--again? Clearly! The Mariners get just one year of control in Dyson, whereas the Royals get multiple years of control with Karns, but they'll have to fix Karns' fastball and turn him into a serviceable pitcher before he pays dividends. Meanwhile, the Mariners get an elite centerfielder to play Left Field (and Center Field occasionally). They also get an elite base-runner who can leadoff against RHP, which allows them to bat Segura 2nd. Lot to like about this if you're a Mariners fan.

As a token of good measure, 50,000 Seattle-made brown-paper bags (with recycled material) were sent along with Karns for KC fans' comfort of anonymity while attending Royals' games next season.

Very thoughtful. Now here's an overview of what the Mariners have done in the field and behind the plate:

Zunino is replacing Iannetta.
Ruiz is replacing Clevenger.
Valencia is replacing Lee.
Vogelbach is replacing Lind.
Dyson is replacing Aoki.
Haniger is replacing Smith.
One of Heredia/Gamel will be replacing Guti.
Segura is replacing Marte.

These are the key differences in the lineup from the Opening Day roster in 2016. In most cases, the offensive bar is incredibly low. The potential for better production shouldn’t be difficult to see, especially when you factor in base running and speed.

And for the pitching?

Paxton replaces Miley.
Gallardo replaces Walker.
Miranda replaces Karns.
Rzepczynski replaces Nuño.
Pazos currently replaces Montgomery.
Diaz replaces Cishek.
Cishek replaces Benoit (when ready).
Scribner replaces Peralta.

Obviously there’s some questions with Gallardo rebounding, but having an elite defense behind him in a more spacious stadium(s) certainly won’t hurt, and it’s not like Miley, Walker, or Karns were that productive. Those three move forward with plenty of questions of their own. The Mariners rotation looks at least as good as it did at the start of last season. Felix-Iwakuma-Paxton (in any order) is a pretty solid 1-3, and Miranda proved to be an upgrade over Miley last season, so there's little reason to fret. If you choose to do so anyway, I won't pretend to care. Think Smith was the only dick in Seattle? Nope!

The pen will likely see another piece or two added (assuming Cishek and Zych are questionable for early April), as they could benefit from another right-handed power arm and a lefty that can give them a solid inning late (Blevins says hello). But the pen isn’t looking worse. They started the last season with Benoit, who was terrible, and dealt with multiple injuries that resulted in Peralta making the team. Injuries could factor in this spring, of course, but the depth looks significantly stronger than last season’s. In fact, the depth everywhere appears exceptionally stronger all around, though they may need a catcher if lose Sucre on waivers.

As a Mariners fan, I can honestly say I feel much better with what we have now, and the dough to go out and find an upgrade at the deadline for the rotation, pen, or 1B (think Royals: Hosmer!) should be there if time proves a move is necessary.

For now, I'll take comfort in knowing Seattle has a team that can contend. On that note, I'll have my morning coffee, then head to an all-you-can-eat vegan restaurant where I'll attempt to make the owner fret over my presence.

I did indeed use the word "fret" twice in this post.

EDIT: Hours after posting this post, Dipoto made another move--and then ANOTHER! The first transaction sent Luiz Gohara, the hefty Brazilian lefty, and Thomas Burrows to the Braves in exchange for Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons. We all knew Mallex Smith's mustache wasn't very easy on the eyes, but upon arriving in Seattle, Dipoto was so disappointed with the facial hair on his newest acquisition, that he immediately got on the phone with Tampa. The second move sent Mallex Smith, Ryan Yarbrough, and Carlos Vargas on the first plane out of town to the Rays for Drew Smyly, essentially strengthening the rotation and the pen, as this move should make Miranda the second LHRP and Simmons the replacement for the still-rehabing Cishek, while simultaneously erasing what would have been a painful eyesore from taking the field while Jerry took his drinks with a dose of salt. 

Close call, but mission accomplished. 

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