On the last day team’s could acquire players that could be active on playoff rosters, there was plenty of movement.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are four games over .500 and sit 1.5 games out of the second wild card spot. They bolstered their lineup by adding Justin Upton and Brandon Philips. Upton was an all-star this season, slashing .279/.362/542. Philips has been great for a very bad Atlanta Braves team. He’s hitting .291, with an on base of .329 while slugging .423. Both players are veterans, and make the Angels significantly better.
According to their record, the Houston Astros are the best team in the American League. They had a glaring hole in the starting pitching rotation. They addressed that by adding six-time all-star Justin Verlander from the Tigers. His best years are behind him, but with a 3.82 earned run average over 172 innings this season, he makes the Astros significantly better.
Jerry DiPoto loves making trades. It isn’t confirmed, but it probably started in elementary school. He’d make deals at lunch, hoping to improve his lunch both for now and the future. What was he up to today?
He gave up Leony’s Martin, an outfielder he had already given up on twice this season. In return the M’s will get cash, or a player to be named later.
You can’t blame him for being dormant. The M’s are two games under .500, making the gap between the team and the playoff’s 4.5 games wide. With less than 30 games left in the season, its most likely too large to cross.
It’s frustrating. The playoff drought will continue. DiPoto had chances throughout the season to add pitching to a team that has needed it since spring training. He added players like Marco Gonzales, Erasmo Rameriez and Andrew Albers.
A bunch of four A guys. Players who are solid in triple A, but aren’t ready, or may never be ready for the Major Leagues.
They are strange moves in hindsight.
Even at the time they were strange.
The Mariners had a chance to land proven starters in Sonny Gray and Verlander. Did they have the prospects, and in Verlanders case, the cash to acquire those players. Pundits said no, but you can always offer more.
The type of moves DiPoto makes are becoming more questionable with the more moves he makes. They feel like ego moves. If the players he brings in pan out, they make DiPoto look like a genius.
Gonzales was a first round draft pick by the Saint Louis Cardinals. He’s also coming off Tommy John surgery. If he becomes a successful Major Leaguer, Dipoto stole one. If he doesn’t, he was damaged goods when he got here. It’s such a nothing move.
Not to mention, the Mariners gave up one of their best prospects to do it. Their farm system is nothing special, but Tyler O’neill could have been a piece in a trade for Verlander or Gray.
DiPoto was the general manager of the Angels a few seasons ago. He got into an argument with Mike Scioscia that became fatal. After management sided with the tenured Scioscia, he left. Literally packed up his office and walked out.
As contenders add proven veterans that make their team significantly better, the Mariners watch from below. Below .500. Below playoff spots. DiPoto continues to add players who, if they pan out, make him look like a genius. He’s starting to look stupid. For Mariners fans, these ego moves need start paying off, or the movement should take place with DiPoto himself.