SEATTLE — Jerry Dipoto keeps proving the "Trader Jerry" nickname is a valid one.
The Seattle Mariners general manager is constantly tinkering, trying to create a club that can once again be a contender instead of an afterthought. That means during the 17 months that Dipoto has served as Seattle's GM, the Mariners front office has been kept on its toes, constantly waiting for the next move.
"There was a question about Jerry that a media member posed and they described him as 'uncomfortably energetic.' ... You stay busy, but in a good way," said director of baseball operations Justin Hollander, who had previously worked with Dipoto with the Los Angeles Angels. "It's our job in the front office to constantly try and make the roster better."
When the Mariners report for spring training in Arizona, they will have just eight players who were on the 40-man roster when Dipoto took over in September 2015. He has made 39 trades in those 17 months, including 12 this offseason in an attempt to overhaul the roster without dipping much into free agency and increasing an already healthy payroll.
What Dipoto views as Seattle's core — Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager — is clear. It's the tweaks around those foundational players that have kept the Mariners in a regular state of activity since Dipoto arrived.
Whether they are major moves or just tweaks, the evaluation of what Dipoto has created never stops. But it's always with the overarching goal of trying to end the longest playoff drought in baseball.
© 2017 Associated Press