Takeaways from today's press conference
Scott Servais, Jerry Dipoto and Justin Hollander sat down and answered questions from Seattle media today. Here are my four biggest takeaways from what they shared today.
The Seattle front office held a press conference today wrapping up the 2022 season. Here are my four biggest takeaways from what they shared today.
Jesse Winker underwent surgery on knee, will have neck surgery
Jerry Dipoto addressed the reasoning for Jesse Winker not being at the home playoff game in Seattle. Dipoto said Winker spent 7 days in New York undergoing knee surgery and is expecting to have a neck procedure soon. He described Winker’s injuries as “very real” down the stretch.
As for the piece I wrote on Winker yesterday, all of those things are very real as well. Dipoto remarked that he and Hollander had discussed Winker’s performance at length in the previous weeks. They expect him to fully get back to the player he had been in the past.
Whether this was an actual endorsement or just posturing to be able to trade him later, we do not know just yet. Winker may have had injury issues, but he also had a disconnect with the Mariner front office and staff. Scott Servais did say he believes there is a role for Winker moving forward, but I would still expect him to be traded this offseason.
Seattle plans to move forward with J.P. Crawford at shortstop, hopes to sign a big-name infielder
Seattle’s preference is to keep Crawford at short, but it seems they are interested in the free agent shortstop class. Their hope would be that one of the big four, Dansby Swanson, Xander Boegarts, Trea Turner, or Carlos Correa would sign in Seattle and move over to second base.
This seems very unlikely for Correa and Swanson, as they might be the two best defensive shortstops in baseball. It would likely take more money to convince Boegarts or Turner to move to the other side of the bag.
Crawford struggled mightily at the plate for most of the summer, making their middle infield tandem one of the lightest hitting in all of baseball. What they choose to do with the middle infield moving forward could very well swing this team from a playoff contender to a World Series contender.
Haniger will likely test the market, but continue “talking” with Seattle
Mitch Haniger has been an important player in Seattle for many years now but will be heading to test the market for the first time. It seems that the front office has an interest in bringing him back into the fold, but only if the value is there for both sides. Haniger will likely try to make as much money as possible, but the Qualifying Offer could be on the table from Seattle.
My belief is that the Mariners would like to get one of him and Winker back because of their track record at the plate. There will certainly be conversations between the two sides, but for Seattle to bring Mitch back the deal will need to make sense financially.
Muñoz and Raleigh headed to the operating table, Julio dealing with a finger fracture
Dipoto also revealed that Cal Raleigh’s thumb and Andres Muñoz’s foot will both require surgery in the coming weeks. Julio Rodríguez also broke his finger during the final game of the season, but should not require surgery.
Several other players including Ryan Borucki and Casey Sadler are also still healing, but they are expected to be ready for spring training.