Mariners hit Meetings full of possibilities

Mariners hit Meetings full of possibilities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jerry Dipoto and his Mariners crew arrived at the Winter Meetings on Sunday not looking to make splashy headlines, but seeking instead to continue building a solid roster base to surround previous high-profile signings.

That plan now takes on a new tact as Hisashi Iwakuma -- the club's top free-agent priority -- instead chose a three-year agreement with the Dodgers on Sunday, according to multiple reports. That means Dipoto now must shift to Plan B on the starting-pitching front, which included a trade for Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley, while also engaging in conversations about first basemen and relief pitchers during the four-day gathering at the Opryland Hotel.

Seattle's new general manager already has shown he's not shy about making whatever deals he deems might help his club improve as he sets about upgrading a team that went 76-86 last season despite the star power of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz, so expect the Mariners to remain busy over the coming days.

"We're not likely to be about marquee names and big signings," Dipoto said of his offseason work, which has already included six trades and four free-agent signings. "This was going to be about complementary pieces and guys who can build a winning environment and group.

"We've done our big-game hunting in the past with Nelson, with Robbie Cano, and then extending and signing Felix and Kyle Seager. They are the core of our club, they're signed long term, and they are celebrated, elite, All-Star-level players, and that is the group we are building around."

Thus the four days in Nashville figure to be the continuation of a winter that has already seen the addition of: outfielders Nori Aoki, Leonys Martin and Boog Powell; catchers Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger; starter Nathan Karns; relievers Joaquin Benoit, Anthony Bass and Justin De Fratus; and utility infielder Luis Sardinas.

Mariners introduce Aoki

The first-base situation -- now that Dipoto has traded Mark Trumbo and Logan Morrison -- will be an interesting scenario.

We'll keep you abreast of those pursuits and any other rumors that arise out of Nashville in the next four days on, with daily updates from Dipoto, coverage of breaking news and all the chatter that comes out of the annual gathering of baseball's movers and shakers. and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2015 Winter Meetings from the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, with the Network launching 35 hours of live Winter Meetings coverage. Fans can also catch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on, as well as the announcement of the Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Era Committee inductees on Monday at 8 a.m. PT and the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 7 a.m.

New Mariners manager Scott Servais will meet the media on Wednesday, and the meetings conclude with Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. You can keep up with the news from Nashville and chip in with your own suggestions on what the Mariners ought to do next in the comments sections below each story.

As Dipoto has proven already, he's willing to wheel and deal to reshape his roster, so it should be an interesting four days in Tennessee. Stay tuned.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.