Jerry DiPoto, former general manager of the Los Angeles Angels and, briefly, advisor for the Red Sox, has officially been named the new GM of the Seattle Mariners. Mariner’s president Kevin Mather was hoping to find someone with experience, but someone who also had the “new school” aptitude for statistical analysis and sabermetrics, something former Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik sorely lacked. At age 47, former-pitcher DiPoto fits the bill.
DiPoto is walking into what could be called, in technical terms, “a giant mess,” with most of the Mariners payroll devoted to just four players and the team’s farm system in complete disarray. DiPoto comes not only with the statistical knowledge desired by Mather in his new GM, but he also has a leg up on most of the other “young, analytical, computer-nerd types” that Mather had been described as wanting, in the department of scouting and development.
A successful reliever from 1993-2000 with the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies, DiPoto has the real-life experience to be able to create a solid plan for finding and carefully developing the right players. The Mariners are hoping that DiPoto can use his experience to produce some home-grown talent which, with the exception of third baseman Kyle Seager, the team has not accomplished in quite a few years.
The majority of the team’s payroll is tied up in the contracts of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Seager and Felix Hernandez. DiPoto’s job is to somehow take those win-now contracts and get the Mariners back to the postseason while at the same time rebuilding the debilitated farm system.
Good luck. That is a huge challenge to take on, and he’ll have be a magician to pull it off without making a trade, one that will bring in prospects to get his player development plan started and one that will allow the club to fill its biggest hole, catcher.
To read more on potential moves DiPoto might make, who he might keep, who he may let go or could get traded you can read my column in its entirety at Today’s Knuckleball via the link below: