PEORIA, Ariz.—The Seattle Mariners have made plenty of offseason moves to gear up for the 2017 season thanks to Jerry Dipoto, who took over as general manager in 2015.
Big trades and free agent signings bolstered the roster, improving the team marginally with each move made. Carlos Ruiz will provide competition for the catcher spot as will Danny Valencia on first base, Marc Rzepczynski gives the bullpen a left-handed relief pitcher to go to and Yovani Gallardo offers a veteran presence in the pitching rotation. Three of the players acquired will provide the biggest aid to the Mariners as they attempt to end the longest current playoff drought in the majors.
- Jarrod Dyson
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson was traded to Seattle from Kansas City for pitcher Nathan Karns on Jan. 6, 2017. What Dyson may lack on the offensive end, with a career average of .260 and only seven homeruns since 2010, he makes up for with blazing speed and versatility on defense. Dyson recorded 30 steals in 2016, and over his career, he averages about one steal every three games. Dyson is also able to play all three outfield positions, with his preference being centerfield. Seattle plans to run Dyson out in left field, paired with Leonys Martin in center and Mitch Haniger in rightfield.
- Drew Smyly
Despite a poor 2016 that saw Smyly pitch his worst record (7-12) and worst ERA (4.88), the left-hander has shown during his career he has what it takes to be a reliable part of a pitching staff. As a starter in Tampa Bay, Smyly could be counted on to provide nearly six innings pitched per game and nearly six strikeouts per game. The Mariners only had to give up Mallex Smith, who they had traded for that same day, and prospects Ryan Yarbrough and Carlos Vargas, who were all sent to Tampa Bay for Smyly on Jan. 11, 2017.
- Jean Segura
The biggest acquisition of the offseason for Seattle is their new shortstop, Jean Segura. The Mariners received Segura in a trade from the Diamondbacks on Nov. 23, 2016, along with Haniger and Zac Curtis, although they had to give up promising pitcher Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte. Segura hit .319 last season with Arizona and knocked in 64 runs and 20 home runs, while also stealing 33 bases. Segura also led the National League in hits with 203. On defense, Segura excelled last season, committing only 10 errors over the course of 153 games. It remains to be seen how well Segura will transition into being an everyday shortstop, as he typically played second base with the Diamondbacks.
(Images courtesy of mlb.com)