After firing former general manager Jack Zduriencik on August 29, it looks as if the Seattle Mariners have found themselves a new GM in former Los Angeles Angels man Jerry Dipoto, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
Dipoto stepped down as Angels GM on July 1 after a power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia and owner Arte Moreno. He was the GM in Anaheim since 2011.
He currently has a position with the Boston Red Sox as an assistant GM, but he is expected to accept the Mariners offer to become their GM just about three months after stepping down in Anaheim. It is a quick turnaround for Dipoto who will switch teams within the AL West.
Since the firing of Zduriencik, the Mariners have been under the control of interim GM Jeff Kingston who reportedly had an interview with the team. Reports say that it came down to Dipoto and New York Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler. However, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Dipoto was considered the favorite from the beginning.
The 47-year-old will have a big job on his hands as the Mariners are coming off of a disappointing 2015 season and currently have some big contracts on the books. Seattle needs help with player development and Dipoto is strong in that which will help this team greatly.
The first order of business for Dipoto will most likely be whether or not he will bring back manager Lloyd McClendon after his second season with the team. Usually new GM’s like to bring in their “own” guy after taking over a team, but Mariners President Kevin Mather said he would encourage whoever got the job to keep McClendon around. He did also say that it would be up to the GM whether or not that will be the case.
The Mariners farm system has taken a bit of a hit as of late with recent draft picks of the Zduriencik era either not panning out, or having been traded away, which means developing players through the draft will be key.
Dipoto is a mix of old and new school with his use of analytics and it will be interesting to see how that plays into his success in Seattle as the Angels never really experienced too much of that in his time in Anaheim.
Mariners beat writer Shannon Drayer also had some interesting takes on the hire.
All in all, this looks to be a great hire for the Mariners. It can jolt excitement for next year, where trips to see Mariners games can be planned through Hipmunk.com. With cheap Seattle airfare and hotel in Seattle from Hipmunk.com both near the airport and ballpark, Hipmunk is the one-stop shop for traveling baseball fans.