Starter at top of Mariners' Meetings to-do list

Starter at top of Mariners' Meetings to-do list

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Jerry Dipoto and a large Mariners contingent arrived at the nation's capital on Sunday to do business at this week's Winter Meetings, though Seattle's remaining wish list is short after a busy start to the offseason already by the second-year general manager.

Even before stepping foot into the luxurious Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on the Potomac River, Dipoto has already brought in 10 new players via six trades and signed a pair of free-agent relievers.

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That leaves an experienced starting pitcher who could slide into the middle of the Mariners rotation as the one unchecked box on Seattle's offseason planner, though Dipoto never seems to rest completely in his roster-tweaking efforts.

The toughest question now is how to replace Taijuan Walker -- who was dealt to the D-backs to acquire shortstop Jean Segura -- and that figures to be a hot topic for the Mariners at these meetings. While the free-agent market for pitching is thin, Dipoto has his eyes on a couple possible fits as well as a trade target or two.

"We'd like to get as far up the food chain as we can," Dipoto said. "All of that will be dependent on who is available or not. You can only shop for what is in the store."

While Seattle has already been extremely active, the Winter Meetings are traditionally the time when a lot of offseason maneuvers take root as executives for all 30 teams gather under the same roof along with player agents looking to wheel and deal. So stay tuned, as Dipoto has often proven to be the master of the unexpected.

Coverage of all the Mariners' Winter Meetings rumblings and reports will be available on Mariners.com, along with updates from Dipoto's daily sessions with the media and manager Scott Servais' interview session on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. PT, when he'll get a chance to discuss all the offseason changes and how things will fit together in his second season at the helm. Mariners.com will have a story off that session.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 6 a.m. PT.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.