The Mariners made additional roster moves this week. That means more veteran players are leaving Seattle. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about the reasons for the drastic purge.
The Mariners finalized deals this week, sending second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz to the New York Mets and shortsop Jean Segura to the Philadelphia Phillies. Earlier trades ushered out starting pitcher James Paxton, catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia. Three relievers also are gone: James Pazos, Juan Nicasio and Álex Colomé.
The team mostly got prospects in return. Two veteran players also were included in the deals.
'BANKRUPT FARM SYSTEM'
Thiel said these drastic moves come down to a lack of prospects in the Mariners' farm system — the minor-league teams where young talent is groomed.
"The reason (General Manager Jerry) Dipoto went to these lengths was because of years and years of bad drafts," he said. "They're not getting productive players to the major-league level to be contributors. And this goes back two general managers ago.
"Dipoto had to go to this extreme just to populate the farm system. These guys (acquired in the trades) aren't going to be ready, typically, in 2019."
'NOT DONE YET'
Thiel said he doesn't think the team is done dealing. He expects All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger and starting pitcher Marco Gonzales to be trading options, even though Dipoto previously said they were "untouchable."
"They can't move (third baseman) Kyle Seager because he makes too much money and plays too poorly. And the same thing can be said for (pitcher) Félix Hernández. They're stuck with those two guys unless they want to pay nearly all of their salaries to let them go play somewhere else.
"I would say that Dipoto, now that he's torn down things this far, may as well go all the way. They're going to have a 60-win season next year and the fans are just going to have to tolerate it.
"I don't know if they're going to tear down ticket prices to match. I kind of doubt it. So, it's going to be pretty bleak."