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Old 12-28-2018, 07:52 AM   #21
Hendu Style
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Walking Money

A funny thing happened during the excitement of the offseason. As the Mariners continued to make shrewd moves -- like Rule 5 pick Chris Seise and free agent signee Carlos Rodon -- anticipation for the upcoming season reached a fever pitch in Seattle. The acquisitions of Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa had restored the city's faith in their team, and John Stanton's wallet soon followed. All of these moves had been made on a shoestring budget. But even ownership couldn't deny the fact that this club could be on the verge of something special.

"Jerry, how close do you think we are to turning this team into a contender?" Stanton asked his General Manager, Jerry Dipoto on an impromptu phone call.

"The division is looking tough," answered Dipoto. He was right. Reigning World Series Champion Houston had added shortstop Manny Machado, veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia, and relievers Alex Claudio, Steve Cishek, Sam Dyson, and Nick Vincent to an already impressive roster. The Rangers had signed future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to their rotation. "If we can wait another year or two for our first baseman and catcher to come along, we should be in great shape."

Catcher Cal Raleigh and first baseman Evan White had impressed in their brief call-up from Triple-A before. They weren't exactly cornerstones to the franchise, but they were solid additions to the lineup. They just needed a little more time.

"What would it take to jump start things?" Stanton curiously asked. "Financially speaking."

This was an odd line of questioning. Ownership had shrunk the team's budget from $174 million in 2019, to its current $134 million in 2022. Or basically the difference between signing a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper instead of Mallex Smith. Now Stanton was talking about beefing up payroll?

"The big fish are off the market," Dipoto replied. It was late January. Pitchers and catchers were to report to Spring Training in a matter of weeks. Save for a handful of relievers and a couple of veteran bats, most free agents had already found new homes for 2022. "How much are we talking about here?"

"I could get your budget up to $150 million if it meant your word that we could win, say, 90 games this season," Stanton declared.

Dipoto ran the math quickly in his head. That was roughly $16 million more to spend in the rapidly closing offseason. He could sign a new closer like Zach Britton or Archie Bradley. Veteran slugger Khris Davis was still on the market.

"Well, I'll be honest, boss," Dipoto said sheepishly. "Our starting rotation is a mess. There's no fixing that right now. It's patchwork at best. Our bullpen is in good shape. But our infield... with $16 million more to work with... it could be the best in baseball."

Dipoto already had Lindor and Correa anchoring the left side of the Mariners infield. They had the rising Logan Warmoth holding down second base. If he could land a premiere first baseman and catcher, the Mariners could very well compete in the American League West.

"You give me $150 million, and I'll give you 90 wins," Dipoto said confidently. "You have my word."

"Done," Stanton said. "Good luck."





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Old 12-30-2018, 01:33 AM   #22
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Two More Pieces to the Puzzle

Jerry Dipoto didn't have the luxury of time. The Mariners were less than a month away from Spring Training in Arizona, and Dipoto had to work the phones by himself to get a trade done. His former assistant, Scott Servais, had gone to Nebraska to assist his uncle, Ed Servais, at Creighton University. Dipoto had reached out to several former MLB players about joining the Mariners staff, but he barely had time to interview candidates, let alone make a decision on a new assistant, when he had to put the final pieces together for the 2022 roster.

The extra $16 million in the 2022 budget was a boon to the Mariners. Left-handed closer Zach Britton was coming off a 27 save campaign for the Cleveland Indians, earning $26 million that season. But he was once again the victim of a shrinking market, just as he was two years prior when he took a steep discount to pitch for the Mariners. Archie Bradley, another closer, was also still on the market, though his asking price was north of $16 million, just out of Seattle's price range.

Both were logical targets, but Dipoto was not exactly the conventional sort, and had his sights set elsewhere. The roster's biggest weaknesses were at first base, catcher, in the outfield, and in the starting rotation.

The L.A. Angels were in the beginning stages of a rebuild, feeling the growing pains of paying Mike Trout an exorbitant $47.5 million annual salary. Their GM, Billy Eppler, was reluctantly trying to offload Chris Sale's $15.4 million salary. Though Sale was about to turn 33 years old, his price tag was relatively reasonable. It would only take a package of Rodon or Raleigh, along with a prospect or two.

Curious to see what kind of haul the Mariners could get in return for either Rodon or Raleigh, Dipoto started to privately shop both players around to select teams around the league. The A's, in the midst of yet another rebuild in Oakland, was looking to get out from under its contract with Matt Olson. The star first baseman, who had put together back-to-back 50 home run seasons in 2018 and 2019, had been rewarded with a a 5-year, $60.8 million contract extension. But new ownership in the Bay Area put the kibosh on that contract, and ordered GM David Forst to start cutting payroll.

Another option was Cleveland. When the Mariners and Indians had struck a deal for Francisco Lindor, Dipoto learned that catcher Francisco Mejia was also available for the right price. Mejia still had three years of club control left, but his arbitration number had reached eight figures and continued to climb. The team was keen on the Mariners' young catcher Raleigh, looking to free up salary now to start working on extensions for franchise cornerstones Jose Ramirez and Bobby Bradley.

Problem was, both Cleveland and Oakland were interested in the same players: Cal Raleigh and Carlos Rodon. The Mariners could get one deal done, but not the other. Unless Dipoto could separate the two trade assets and come up with enough capital to pull off both trades.

So Dipoto went to work, first attempting to hammer out a deal with the Indians. Including Raleigh was a must. There was no way Cleveland would even entertain the thought of trading their 3-time All-Star catcher without a retain that featured Raleigh. After several rounds of negotiations, Dipoto was able to get Cleveland's GM, Mike Chernoff, to agree to a deal that would send Mejia and minor league reliever Jeff Kline to Seattle, along with a small amount of cash. In return, the M's would have to give up Raleigh, along with shortstop Chris Seise (acquired in the Rule 5 Draft), set-up man Matt Wotherspoon (a former waiver wire pickup), minor league outfielder Brock Anderson (a 26th round pick in 2019), and former second-round pick Jackson Phipps. It was a testament to Dipoto's shrewd maneuvering that had added Wotherspoon and Seise to the roster to begin with. The loss of Phipps was considerable, though the 20 year-old southpaw had struggled in the AZL in 2021, going 0-7 with a 10.31 ERA in 11 starts. He was a true project, walking 34 batters while striking out 12. But is upside was high enough to warrant a second round selection just a year before. The deal was done, though Dipoto asked the Indians to wait on making the announcement until he could negotiate a separate trade with Oakland. The Indians gave Dipoto a 24-hour window.

The A's were hot on Rodon, a 15-game winner the year prior for the White Sox. He certainly had his warts, giving up an MLB-worst 42 home runs, but still had struck out 183 batters in 178.2 innings of work, while walking 66. Better yet, he had a bargain basement contract at just over $4 million a year over the next five years. Just the kind of pitcher the A's were looking for. Oakland was willing to deal not only Olson, but also pitcher Grant Holmes, who had split time between the rotation and the bullpen in 2021, posting an abysmal 7.23 ERA in 93 innings pitched. He was also battling some weight problems, tipping the scales at 230 pounds. It wasn't exactly a prototypical build for a 6' frame. Forst was also receptive to parting with the once-prized prospect, Jesus Lazardo, who at the age of 24 was still spinning his wheels in Double-A. But the Mariners scouting department was still raving about Luzardo, saying he was MLB-ready right now. But if the M's weren't willing to include Raleigh in the trade package, they would have to substitute him with smooth swinging minor leaguer Liam Deegan, a 20 year-old with 12 homers in 66 games in short season-A, and third baseman Anderson Tejeda, a former free agent signee who had a cup of coffee in Milwaukee and was destined for the Majors. With 12 hours to spare, the second trade was consummated.

The Indians' jaws hit the floor when they learned the M's had acquired Olson from the A's, and Oakland's front office was equally stunned to learn the Mariners had extracted Mejia from Cleveland. With two moves that cost Seattle a Rule 5 pick, a waiver wire pickup, two low-level minor league acquisitions, a former second-rounder, third-rounder, fourth-rounder, and a 26th-rounder, the Mariners had landed a 3-time All-Star catcher and a 2-time All-Star first baseman, while increasing the team's payroll by a total of just under $11 million for 2022, and $15 million for 2023. It was undoubtedly some of Jerry Dipoto's greatest work.







On a side note, this may be my final season. I've noticed that my team keeps on playing 160 games... figured a couple of games were lost to rain outs. But when I fire up the preseason predictions, each team is sitting at about 150-153 games. The league was accidentally left on "auto evolution" a few years back (WHY IS THAT THE DEFAULT!?), so I had to scrub the expansion teams before the draft. I'm worried that somehow corrupted the schedules. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be eternally grateful. I really want to see this through to the end.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:48 AM   #23
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Dipoto's Demise

Dipoto Fired After Another Last Place Finish

A third last-place finish in the American League West cost Jerry Dipoto his job, as the General Manager was given the ax on Sunday. The Seattle Mariners finished the strike-shortened season with a record of 68-85.

"I'm disappointed because I feel like this franchise is just about to turn the corner," Dipoto told the Associated Press by phone. "I hate to go out like this, but whoever takes over is going to have a lot to work with."

Dipoto's firing is a fitting end to a tumultuous 2022 season. Alex Cora was fired barely a month into his second year as the Mariners manager, going 6-18 to start the season. He was replaced by Dave Roberts, who went 62-67 at the helm, helping the team overcome a league-wide protest by players during the All-Star Break, in the wake of the newly-constructed Donald Trump Memorial Wall separating the United State and Mexico.

"That certainly impacted our play," Dipoto said. "We had several Latin American players who were understandably upset. But credit them for standing up for what they believe in. Their voices were obviously heard."

The DTMW still remains, but Dipoto does not. The former Major League player had served as Seattle's General Manager since 2015. The team ended the longest playoff drought in U.S. sports when it reached the postseason in 2018, but Dipoto infamously tore down the roster the next year in an effort to contend in the 2020's. The free agent signing of Carlos Correa, and the trade acquisitions of Francisco Lindor, Francisco Mejia, and Matt Olson gave the moribund franchise a shot in the arm this year. But the team couldn't overcome a 5-23 month of April, watching Lindor hit a career-low 12 home runs on the season, and Correa bat .287, his lowest average since his second season as a pro. There were bright spots. Mejia was the team's lone All-Star, hitting .313 with 18 homers. Olson clubbed a team-high 42 homers while driving in 101 runs.

Team ownership was not available for comment following the announcement of Dipoto's dismissal, but the franchise did see a 50% boost in attendance from the year prior. The team's projected payroll is expected to be unchanged from this season, at an estimated $93.3 million for 2023. The core of the team remains intact through at least 2024, with Correa and Lindor under contract through 2028, with player options kicking in after the 2024 season. Mejia is under club control for two more season, and Olson's contract runs through 2026.

A search for a new General Manager is expected to begin immediately. Current assistant Cody McKay could be a candidate for the job. The team's top priority in the offseason is expected to be addressing the starting rotation and bullpen, which gave up an MLB-worst 922 runs this past season.



This box score is indicative of the start to the 2022 season. The Mariners surrendered 15 runs in the 11th inning during an 18-3 extra inning loss to the L.A. Angels. Manager Alex Cora was fired as the team's manager just days later.





The final season of the Jerry Dipoto Era. He tore the team down to the studs in 2018, and four years later, the Mariners were still stuck in last place.

Post-Mortem:

James Paxton turned into a Cy Young winner in New York, leading the American League in ERA (3.08) and innings pitched (225) for the Yankees in 2021.

A year after leading the league in saves with the Mariners in 2018, Edwin Diaz averaged 35 saves per year for the Mets, earning a two-year extension in New York that would pay him $23 million.

Jean Segura strung together two .300 seasons in Philadelphia, hitting .342 in 2020 and .301 in 2021 in a platoon role. He hit just .188 during the 2022 season, prompting the Phillies to opt out of the last year of his $89 million contract originally signed with the Mariners.

Mike Zunino hit a combined 35 homers in his first two seasons with Tampa Bay, but had a collective batting average south of .200 in those two seasons. He bounced around from the Rockies to the Mets to the Angels afterward.

Robinson Cano's last Major League appearance came in a Mariner uniform in 2021. A broken knee cap diminished his ability to run and play the infield, and he never returned to the field again.


None of the players acquired in the roster tear down made a significant impact for the Mariners.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:01 AM   #24
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This is brilliant! Anxiously awaiting the next chapter
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:57 PM   #25
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This is brilliant! Anxiously awaiting the next chapter
Thank you, though I fear there may not be a next chapter if we can't figure out the scheduling quirk that robbed each team of about a dozen games this season. I would love to see this through, but in the meantime I'm brainstorming another story. Thanks for following!
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:44 AM   #26
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Thank you, though I fear there may not be a next chapter if we can't figure out the scheduling quirk that robbed each team of about a dozen games this season. I would love to see this through, but in the meantime I'm brainstorming another story. Thanks for following!
Do one with the pirates! After the HORRID trade for archer come in and save the day haha
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:05 AM   #27
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Do one with the pirates! After the HORRID trade for archer come in and save the day haha
That trade was awful! It's the kind of trade I would go for if I was the other team. I think my next story will focus on either a franchise relocating or expansion. I'm leaning towards expansion, going through the excitement of building a team from the ground-up.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:10 AM   #28
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That trade was awful! It's the kind of trade I would go for if I was the other team. I think my next story will focus on either a franchise relocating or expansion. I'm leaning towards expansion, going through the excitement of building a team from the ground-up.
Expansion is always a fun story because you can really customize every aspect of your team. Although then you don't get the excitement of getting stuck with a bunch of dead weight contracts from the previous GM hahaha.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:00 AM   #29
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Thank you, though I fear there may not be a next chapter if we can't figure out the scheduling quirk that robbed each team of about a dozen games this season. I would love to see this through, but in the meantime I'm brainstorming another story. Thanks for following!
That is a problem with the 2019 schedule as far as I know. You can either download a working version here https://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boa...59&postcount=6 and include it to the schedule files, or just load an earlier one(think I'm using the 2014 schedule right now for my dynasty...) Hope that it is the same problem for you...
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:14 PM   #30
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Dipoto Fired After Another Last Place Finish

A third last-place finish in the American League West cost Jerry Dipoto his job, as the General Manager was given the ax on Sunday. The Seattle Mariners finished the strike-shortened season with a record of 68-85.

"I'm disappointed because I feel like this franchise is just about to turn the corner," Dipoto told the Associated Press by phone. "I hate to go out like this, but whoever takes over is going to have a lot to work with."

Dipoto's firing is a fitting end to a tumultuous 2022 season. Alex Cora was fired barely a month into his second year as the Mariners manager, going 6-18 to start the season. He was replaced by Dave Roberts, who went 62-67 at the helm, helping the team overcome a league-wide protest by players during the All-Star Break, in the wake of the newly-constructed Donald Trump Memorial Wall separating the United State and Mexico.

"That certainly impacted our play," Dipoto said. "We had several Latin American players who were understandably upset. But credit them for standing up for what they believe in. Their voices were obviously heard."

The DTMW still remains, but Dipoto does not. The former Major League player had served as Seattle's General Manager since 2015. The team ended the longest playoff drought in U.S. sports when it reached the postseason in 2018, but Dipoto infamously tore down the roster the next year in an effort to contend in the 2020's. The free agent signing of Carlos Correa, and the trade acquisitions of Francisco Lindor, Francisco Mejia, and Matt Olson gave the moribund franchise a shot in the arm this year. But the team couldn't overcome a 5-23 month of April, watching Lindor hit a career-low 12 home runs on the season, and Correa bat .287, his lowest average since his second season as a pro. There were bright spots. Mejia was the team's lone All-Star, hitting .313 with 18 homers. Olson clubbed a team-high 42 homers while driving in 101 runs.

Team ownership was not available for comment following the announcement of Dipoto's dismissal, but the franchise did see a 50% boost in attendance from the year prior. The team's projected payroll is expected to be unchanged from this season, at an estimated $93.3 million for 2023. The core of the team remains intact through at least 2024, with Correa and Lindor under contract through 2028, with player options kicking in after the 2024 season. Mejia is under club control for two more season, and Olson's contract runs through 2026.

A search for a new General Manager is expected to begin immediately. Current assistant Cody McKay could be a candidate for the job. The team's top priority in the offseason is expected to be addressing the starting rotation and bullpen, which gave up an MLB-worst 922 runs this past season.



This box score is indicative of the start to the 2022 season. The Mariners surrendered 15 runs in the 11th inning during an 18-3 extra inning loss to the L.A. Angels. Manager Alex Cora was fired as the team's manager just days later.





The final season of the Jerry Dipoto Era. He tore the team down to the studs in 2018, and four years later, the Mariners were still stuck in last place.

Post-Mortem:

James Paxton turned into a Cy Young winner in New York, leading the American League in ERA (3.08) and innings pitched (225) for the Yankees in 2021.

A year after leading the league in saves with the Mariners in 2018, Edwin Diaz averaged 35 saves per year for the Mets, earning a two-year extension in New York that would pay him $23 million.

Jean Segura strung together two .300 seasons in Philadelphia, hitting .342 in 2020 and .301 in 2021 in a platoon role. He hit just .188 during the 2022 season, prompting the Phillies to opt out of the last year of his $89 million contract originally signed with the Mariners.

Mike Zunino hit a combined 35 homers in his first two seasons with Tampa Bay, but had a collective batting average south of .200 in those two seasons. He bounced around from the Rockies to the Mets to the Angels afterward.

Robinson Cano's last Major League appearance came in a Mariner uniform in 2021. A broken knee cap diminished his ability to run and play the infield, and he never returned to the field again.


None of the players acquired in the roster tear down made a significant impact for the Mariners.

WOW....It's a shame Dipoto couldn't be there to see the fruits of his labor.


Once again......WOW!
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