Having already pulled off the off-season’s first major trade, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is now in a setting that he believes facilitates deal-making.
The general managers are holding their annual meetings this week in Boca Raton, Fla.
“To me, the market is always moving,” Dipoto said. “The general managers’ meetings, years ago, used to be where everything got set up for the Winter Meetings.
“Now, quite frankly, the general managers’ meetings are where we generally culminate, or bring to fruition, a lot of the conversations that we’ve been having since the season ended.”
The Mariners completed a six-player deal last Thursday with Tampa Bay that netted right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, lefty reliever C.J. Riefenhauser and minor-league outfielder Boog Powell.
In return, the Mariners sent shortstop Brad Miller, first baseman Logan Morrison and righty reliever Danny Farquhar to the Rays.
One day later, the Mariners acquired outfielder Daniel Robertson, a defensive specialist, in a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Angels.
“When you get the opportunity to make trades that fit,” Dipoto said, “you make them.”
More opportunities figure to be available this week in Boca Raton.
Last week’s move leave the Mariners with 37 players on their 40-man roster and created some necessary roster flexibility.
Clubs have until Nov. 20 to add minor-league players to their 40-man roster who would otherwise be eligible for selection on Dec. 10 in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
For example, the Mariners didn’t place Powell on their 40-man roster after acquiring him in last week’s trade. But they figure to do so before the deadline because he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.
Generally, players not on a 40-man roster are eligible for the draft after four years if they were 19 or older when they signed their first professional contract. If they were younger than 19, they become eligible after five years.
MINOR-LEAGUE FREE AGENTS
Lefty reliever Lucas Luetge became a minor-league free agent last week after spending most of the last three years at Triple-A Tacoma.
Minor-league players generally become eligible for free agency if their contract has been renewed six times or if they’ve spent all or part of seven seasons on a minor-league roster.
Such free agents are often referred to as six-year free agents.
The list also included first baseman Ji-Man Choi, third baseman Leury Bonilla, first baseman Jordy Lara and left-handers Anthony Fernandez and James Gillheeney.
Players are eligible to re-sign with their former organization.
Here is the complete list as compiled by MiLB.com:
***Triple-A Tacoma: Bonilla, Choi, Luetge and right-handed pitcher Kyle Schepel.
***Double-A Jackson: Fernandez, right-hander Oliver Garcia, Gillheeney, right-handed pitcher Moises Hernandez, Lara, third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez and right-handed pitcher Richard Vargas.
***Hi-A Bakersfield: right-handed pitcher Ramon Morla and catcher Carlton Tanabe.
***Lo-A Clinton: outfielder Arby Fields, first baseman Pat Leyland and outfielder Burt Reynolds.
***Short-A Everett: left-handed pitcher Joselito Cano.
***Rookie Peoria: None.
***Dominican Academy: RHP Luis Jimenez.