Dipoto turns back clock with game of catch in bullpen

Dipoto turns back clock with game of catch in bullpen

PEORIA, Ariz. -- No, he's not going to come out of retirement and don a Mariners uniform, general manager Jerry Dipoto insisted. And no, he's not looking to trade himself.

But baseball's most active GM -- having made a Major League-high 38 trades in 17 months since taking over Seattle's front office -- ditched the deals for a day. He donned his glove and played catch in the bullpen at the team's Peoria Sports Complex following Sunday's first full-squad workout.

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Dipoto had a big smile on his face as he tossed back and forth for about 10-15 minutes with Pete Harnisch, another former big league hurler who now works as a Mariners special assistant in player development.

The session wasn't totally impromptu. As with most things Dipoto does, there was a plan in place. He said the Mariners' coaching staff is going to hold a target-throwing competition among itself in the coming days and he intends to take part.

So, yes, Sunday's session had a purpose.

"This is to prevent arm surgeries afterward," he said.

Dipoto, 48, last pitched in the Majors in 2000 at the end of an eight-year Major League career as a reliever for the Indians, Mets and Rockies. He had a 27-24 record and 49 saves in 390 big league games.

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.