Silvi: Dipoto's trades send message to Mariners clubhouse

The players know it. The manager knows it. The fans know it.

"It" is the message sent by Jerry Dipoto: "We want to win now."

The Mariners GM has made two trades in two days, and he still has 10 days until the July 31st trade deadline. He's not done.

Dipoto believes in this team and you can bet that message has been received in the clubhouse.

So often in the past, the only message that made it through those hallowed doors was one of despair. The standard line from past general managers was a simple explanation: "We're not going to make a trade, just to make a trade."

The players get it. They know if help is on the way. They also can sense when the front office is disinterested. You might remember back in 2003, reliever Jeff Nelson ripping management for not making a trade at the deadline. That team was in first place with a record of 66-and-42 at the time and in a battle with the A's for the division title. The Mariners ended up losing the division by three games to Oakland and the wildcard by two games to Boston.

That's how close it could be this September.

Dipoto knows it. That's why he traded for two pitchers in the last two days: a middle reliever in David Phelps and a left handed starter in Marco Gonzales. For Phelps, Dipoto gave up four young prospects playing Class-A ball in the organization.

For Gonzales, the price went up. Dipoto had to part with the club's second ranked prospect Tyler O'Neill. He became a tradable commodity with the emergence of fellow outfielders Guillermo Heredia, Mitch Haniger and Ben Gamel.

Will O'Neill come back to haunt the Mariners like former top prospect and 5-time All Star Adam Jones? Time will tell.

The Mariners actually gave up a total of five players to get Bedard back in 2008. That was the cost of getting a pitcher who started opening day for the M's that year, beating out Felix Hernandez.

Fast forward to present day where the price hasn't changed much. Contenders looking to bolster their rotations will have to overpay. Gonzales is coming off Tommy John surgery last year. He doesn't overpower hitters which means he relies more on his command. The former Gonzaga Bulldog hasn't done much at the major league level, pitching in just two big league games since 2014, so he's clearly not the veteran starter Dipoto wants for the stretch run.

That's why Dipoto remains active, and in this world of actions speaking louder than words, Dipoto's message to the club doesn't have to be in writing.

© 2017 KING-TV


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