Mariners extend Dipto, Servais; September roster expands
Both Scott Servais and Jerry Dipoto will continue at the helm of the Mariners' ship
September 1, 2021
Today the Mariners announced they have extended the contracts (for "multiple years") of general manager Jerry Dipoto and field manager Scott Servais. Dipoto has also been given the additional title of President of Baseball Operations. Both men were on existing contracts that expired at the end of this season.
None of these decisions are surprising. Ever since former club president Kevin Mather was forced to resign for saying the quiet parts out loud, the "team president" job has been split in two, with off-field matters handled by club CEO John Stanton and the baseball matters by Dipoto. The new title merely makes that arrangement official. Keeping Dipoto on allows the team to maintain consistency through the end stages of the rebuild Dipoto began after the 2018 season. Under Dipoto's watch, the Mariners have almost completely turned over both their Major and minor-league rosters thanks to a plethora of trades with an aim to bring together a young nucleus of capable players that can contend for the World Series for several years to come.
The extension of Servais was a less obvious decision, but also not a surprise. Despite his faults as a tactician—and there are several—Servais does appear to be a competent manager of egos and his rapport with the players seems to be legitimately positive. For the clubhouse part of his job, he's earned the new contract, though his in-game decision-making and influence on the construction of the game-to-game big-league roster do not speak well of his ability. This retention of the managerial team may be good on some levels, but it does invite concern about how the team will compose itself next year and beyond—throughout their tenure, the Servais/Dipoto team has opted to overload the bullpen at the expense of reserve position players, at times severely limiting Servais' options for in-game maneuvering and inviting trouble should anyone get hurt.
Taking care of these contracts now removes any uncertainty going into the offseason and frees the club to focus on improving on 2021's relative success.
In addition to those announcements, the Mariners have also taken advantage of the calendar flipping to September and added two players to the active roster. Under the current rules, the expanded September roster only grows to 28 rather than balloon to 40 as was the case in years past. The M's have activated left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield from the injured list to fill one of the two new spots and promoted infielder Kevin Padlo from Triple-A Tacoma to fill the other. Sheffield has been on the shelf since July 6th due to a left forearm strain; he made four appearances with Tacoma on a rehab assignment that concluded with a scoreless inning of relief August 29th.
The M's had previously recalled 1B/LF José Marmolejos from Tacoma. Since being sent down on May 20th, Marmo has raked in Triple-A, putting up a line of .360/.452/.700 in 72 games.
With Sheffield now active, the Mariners' 10-day injured list is down to four residents: outfielder Jake Fraley, starting pitcher Justin Dunn, and relievers Anthony Misiewicz and Diego Castillo.
Do you approve of the Mariners' choice to extend the contracts of GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais?