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November 21, 2017

Jerry Dipoto just made 72 trades in the time it took to write this sentence. One of those was the acquisition of Ryon Healy from the A’s on Wednesday. The 25-year-old first baseman swatted 25 homers and slugged .451, solid numbers for a player in his first full major league season, playing his home games in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. He needs to solve the holes in his game, including a strikeout-to-walk rate of nearly seven-to-one last season, and his lackluster defense. Still, the M’s had a glaring need, and Dipoto moved quickly to fill it.

The question now becomes how Dipoto navigates the rest of the roster. Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager lead a potent offense, but Cruz is 37 and Cano’s 35, making you wonder how long they can keep hitting at elite levels. Meanwhile, the staff ace (James Paxton) is absurdly talented but also really injury prone, and Felix Hernandez is one of countless pitchers on the roster with back-of-the-rotation skills at this stage of their careers. Throw in the longest current playoff drought for any team, and the clock is ticking on the Mariners, in multiple ways.

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