Remember when Kramer from Seinfeld made the switch away from briefs and famously said, “I’m out there Jerry and I’m loving every minute of it?” I picture a similar reaction from Jerry Dipoto when he was offered the Seattle Mariners general manager job and was told he had full control over personnel moves (unlike his last GM job with the Los Angeles Angels). Well, he is taking full advantage, and wasting no time implementing his master plan.
Dipoto and the M’s made yet another move on Monday afternoon when they acquired Leonys Martin and Anthony Bass from the Texas Rangers for Tom Wilhelmsen, James Jones and a player to be named later. From the start Dipoto has said that he is looking to make this organization deeper not only in the minors, but at the major league level. Two of the main pieces acquired via trade, Nate Karns and Martin, have a combined eights years of team control. The two major pieces traded away, Brad Miller and Wilhelmsen, have a combined six years. The goal of getting more athletic and better defensively has been on point as well. In addition to Martin, the Mariners also acquired young outfielder Boog Powell from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Karns trade.
Martin is a weapon in the outfield, being one of the best defenders in the game the past several years as pointed out by Shannon Drayer.
Dipoto values defense. Over last 3 seasons Martin ranks 4th in defensive runs saved in CF.
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) November 16, 2015
Martin was a buy-low target after an injury plagued and disappointing 2015 but according to Dipoto, that’s the time to strike.
Dipoto: “He’s coming off a down year. And frankly, that’s when you go acquire guys” — Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) November 16, 2015
Martin slashed .219/.264/.313 with five home runs in 95 games last season. Martin didn’t have a triple last year after having a combined 13 the previous two years. It should be fun to watch him leg out triples at SafeCo Field, if he can regain his 2013 and 2014 form.
This team is far from a finished product, but Dipoto is loving the freedom he has and is truly trying to carry out the groundwork he laid out when applying for the M’s job. Only time will tell if the plan in his mind plays out on the field. With seemingly several more moves coming, Dipoto is just getting the hot stove warmed up. It’s going to be a wild winter for the fans in Seattle.