The Seattle Mariners have American League pennant aspirations, but a 30-31 record and fourth-place standing in the AL West doesn’t fit into that notion.
What’s the answer for an organization that won 90 games last year and reached the postseason for the first time since 2001? Well, for starters, Jerry Dipoto, who is the team’s president of baseball operations, doesn’t think acquiring Babe Ruth in his prime would change the team’s fortunes.
After stating that the Mariners believe in their roster building and development model, Dipoto expressed that one acquisition isn’t going to right the ship for them.
“We could go out and acquire prime Babe Ruth, and it’s not going to help us. We’re not one player away or one magic salad from fixing this,” Dipoto said in an interview with Seattle Sports’ “Brock & Salk” Thursday. “This is a commitment from 26 players on a roster to reverse our course, and if we, between now and the end of July, show progress in that way, then we’ll go out and solve what problem or problems we can solve, but we’re not going to flip out our roster for six or eight new players. We are young, we are sustainable, and we are struggling. And the worst time to make decisions is when you’re at your worst.
“I think the appropriate measure is to take a deep breath, watch what’s happening around the league these next 30-40 days and put yourself in a position to make a difference when it comes that time, but to think ‘oh my gosh, we need to trade all these guys and start over,’ that’s absurd.”
Heading into Thursday, Seattle sits 10 games behind the Texas Rangers (40-21) for first place in the AL West, and 5.5 games behind the Houston Astros (36-26) for second. The Mariners are 11-8 in divisional play, though.
Seattle has made several substantial moves over the last two years, including signing Robbie Ray – who recently underwent Tommy John surgery – and acquiring right-hander Luis Castillo and outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, among other moves.
However, many of the team’s top offseason acquisitions have struggled this season. Hernandez is hitting .243, AJ Pollock is hitting .160, and Kolten Wong sports an alarming .424 OPS. Young star Julio Rodriguez, who won the 2022 Silver Slugger Award and was named AL Rookie of the Year, owns a .246/.303/.439 batting line.
The Mariners entered Thursday having totaled 265 runs (tied for 19th in MLB), 462 hits (28th), 63 home runs (tied for 20th), a .227 batting average (27th) and a .681 OPS (26th).
Outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who has been up and down between the big leagues and Triple A over the last two years, has been a bright spot for the Mariners offense, blasting 10 home runs while sporting a .269/.330/.491 batting line. Meanwhile, Castillo (2.55 ERA), George Kirby (3.50 ERA) and Logan Gilbert (3.80 ERA) have been respectable on the mound.
Seattle begins a three-game series on the road against the Los Angeles Angels (33-30) Friday.