Jerry Dipoto has been the general manager for a little under two months, and he’s already made two trades that confirm the franchise’s new identity.
Fast, and good at run prevention.
Monday’s trade for center fielder Leonys Martin and right handed relief pitcher Anthoy Bass brings one of the best defenders in the game to Safeco Field’s expansive outfields. Martin’s speed and arm are going to be a huge benefit for the Mariners going into the 2015 season.
Martin is arguably the fastest outfielder the Mariners will have since Ichiro Suzuki first came into the league. Lookout Landings’ Colin O’Keef was able to find a couple of plays that demonstrated just how impressive a defender Martin. The first of these plays shows you how much ground he is capable of covering in center field.
The second one shows off just how impressive his arm is.
There are some valid concerns about is bat, as is he struggled mightily in 2015 — he spent some time in AAA, and was left off of the post season roster. Fortunately for the Mariners, it appears that his struggles last year were heavily related to his luck as Martin posted a below average BABiP of .270. His ground ball and line drive rates are right around his career norms and there’s nothing super concerning in his swing rates from last season, when compared to his career norms.
What the Martin acquisition clearly demonstrates as the Mariners are on the hunt for the athletic type of outfielders who can improve the team’s defense in the outfield.
Bass is a solid reliever that adds more depth, and talent to the pen, but he comes at the cost of Tom Wilhelmsen…someone who’s been consistently inconsistent in his five years in Seattle. Seattle’s new reliever put together an impressive campaign in 2015 as he posted a FIP of 4.01 and an ERA of 3.89 in 64 innings. His biggest attribute primarily consist of striking batters out, which is a huge skill set to have coming out of the pen for any team.
Seattle also sent speedster James Jones to Arlington in the trade.
It’s pretty clear that Dipoto is looking to acquire as much pitching and out field talent as possible to help fill some of the gaping holes that killed the Mariners’ playoff hopes in 2015.