First, a PSA. Remember what we do here. :- ) We don't attempt to be Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus or even USSM. This is by no means an attempt to codify Baseball Truth as it unravels through history.
It's much more an attempt to simulate a Seattle-area Bill James Online, the attempts of an old fogey (who has seen 1,000,000 pitches +, as many of you have) to offer a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on what seems to be happening this week. This BEGINS a conversation which helps us enjoy a team that is most of the time (but not all of the time!) hard to enjoy.
Gordon's conception of a Slack Chat will enhance this experience nicely in 2018. This week in 2018 -- CLICK THIS SLACK CHAT LINK -- the question emerged, "Does Jerry Dipoto intend to win in 2018? What player, other than Dee Gordon, has been brought in that looks like an attempt to win in 2018?"
So an old Bill James-type wannabe offers his thoughts to begin this conversation:
Tyler Pike, our best lefty minors starter, and Alex Jackson, an org top-10, for two ML-ready SP's Dipoto really liked, Povse and Whalen.
Traded Danny Farquhar, Brad Miller and Logan Morrison for Nathan KKKarns and scraps. At the moment he viewed KKKarns, with his 10+ K rate, as a promising young potential TOR.
Shortly after, dealt Nathan KKKarns to the Royals for a few months of Jarrod Dyson in order to boost the M's chances of plucking a 2017 wild card spot.
Dealt (in effect) our most-prized minors pitcher, Luis Gohara, along with Yarborough and Vargas for Drew Smyly, a very good but fragile ML starting pitcher with 3 years of arbitration left.
Traded Patrick Kivlehan, along with Wilhelmsen and Jones, to the Rangers for King Leonydas, who was of course a starting major league player.
Traded Roenis Elias and Carson Smith (??) for Wade Miley (and Jonathan Aro).
Accepted Mike Leake's contract, with adjustments, from the St. Louis Cardinals.
From these trades and others you can almost see Dipoto taking the box that WAS the M's minor-league system, holding it above his head upside-down, and shaking it empty in an almost-frantic attempt to better his current 25-man roster.
(2) Don't forget that Dipoto is capable of huge surprises -- almost every one of his moves caught us all completely off guard -- for example his Nick Vincent trade was simply a PTBNL/$$$ that occurred on March 30th.
This is particularly a year in which it is easy to envision transactions that occur shortly before the season starts. Let's hope one of them is for a Mike Leake type. Or a Jake Arrieta type.
(3) It's hard for me to envision a place in the Mariners' starting 9 at which they can make an improvement. It sounds funny but it's true. Unless they're going for a blockbuster in LF, what do you suggest?
(4) SSI has long accused Dipoto of terminal self-confidence. Dr. D thinks he can simply outsmart his fellow GM's into dealing himself into a championship roster, FA resources be blasted.
So far, no dice. The M's hold pro sports' longest playoff-free streak, and what's worse, they are 12-for-14 in losing seasons since 2002.
I think an Arrieta move, or a blockbuster for an Archer type, is what Dipoto needs to legitimize his method. But that's just me. You?