The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Where do the Mariners go from here

Jerry Dipoto seemingly not committed enough from fans perspective
The Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners set their 2023 goal as “win it all,” trying to build off their drought-snapping 2022 playoff appearance. They were eliminated from playoff contention in the final week of the season. 

Jerry Dipoto, Mariners’ president of baseball operations, said that the season was not a disappointment despite failing to come close to expectations set at the beginning of the year in the team’s end-of-the-year news conference with himself and manager Scott Servais.

“We didn’t reach the heights we anticipated reaching and hate that we’re sitting here as wrapping the season without being in October playing baseball,” Dipoto said. “But here we are after an 88-win season, I’ll first start by saying, I think in many ways, this season, as much as it was disappointing in the end, it was a step forward for us organizationally.”

So where should the Mariners go from here? 

The Mariners are one of the many teams who will be in on the sweepstakes of two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, but owner John Stanton said the team is built to win with or without the superstar. If the team is serious about contending, Ohtani and other big names in the 2024 free agent class should be appealing for the front office to pursue. 

The Mariners had below-league-average production from first and second bases and will look to upgrade their designated hitter. With Ohtani not pitching in 2023, he will still be able to fill the hole of DH if he makes his way to Seattle. 

Beyond Ohtani, there are not many flashy names that the Mariners may conceivably pursue, with the most interesting ones being from the Chicago Cubs: Cody Bellinger and Jeimer Candelario.

Bellinger could fill in nicely as the everyday first baseman and platoon outfielder and Candelario can play the corner infield and DH. Both were well above-average hitters and would spice up an underwhelming lineup.  

But Dipoto’s comments during the press conference point to the team pursuing big-name free agents, pointing to other teams’ lack of success in 2023. 

“Whether that is by way of a big-name player, there are many teams that are evidenced today that might not be the only way to build a roster,” he said. 

With a surplus of talent in the farm system and especially with their arms, there are several starting pitchers that may find themselves on the trade block. Some names that will likely be on the block: Bryan Woo, Logan Gilbert, Marco Gonzalez, Emerson Hancock and Bryce Miller.  

Who should the Mariners target on the trade block? 

In an August Bleacher Report article, of the eight players listed as players most likely to be traded during the offseason, two players would make great fits for the team with one Mariner, Logan Gilbert, also appearing on the list.

New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres and Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India would fix the Mariners’ biggest weakness of the 2022 season and help the team contend 

The perfect offseason for the Mariners likely includes signing Ohtani or Bellinger and trading for Torres or India, supplementing the lineup by sacrificing too much of their pitching depth.

If the team is serious about contending, going all in on both Ohtani and Bellinger and emphasizing trading prospects for positional depth can either be the greatest move in franchise history or prove Dipoto’s concern of pushing the team back several years. Still, for fans who witnessed two decades of playoff-less baseball, that is a sacrifice willing to be made. 

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
GRACIE ROGERS, Evergreen Illustration editor
Gracie Rogers is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior Digital Technology & Culture major from Pullman, Washington. Gracie started working for the Daily Evergreen back in Spring 2022.