Sports

Jerry Dipoto hospitalized, but Mariners continue drafting, trading

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto stands on the field before a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto stands on the field before a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) AP

The Seattle Mariners announced three key transactions on Thursday on the final day of MLB’s winter meetings in Las Vegas.

They traded Carlos Santana to the Indians for Edwin Encarnacion and a draft pick.

They selected right-handed reliever Brandon Brennan from the Rockies in the Rule 5 draft.

General manager Jerry Dipoto was hospitalized with a series of blood clots in his lungs.

Yeah, Dipoto can apparently sign off on deals even from a hospital bed, doing so with assistant general manager Justin Hollander briefly by his bedside.

The Mariners said he’s fine, even though he was undergoing tests at a local hospital because he had been dealing with an illness since Tuesday. They said he was being treated out of “an abundance of caution.” He was expected to fly home to Seattle on Friday.

“They’re still running tests, getting results. I would assume it’s nothing serious if they’re going to let him go home, hopefully today,” Hollander told reporters. “He seemed to be feeling better based on what (wife) Tamie said. He was even looking better last night than before he went in.”

But this is Las Vegas, and there was wheeling and dealing to do.

They picked the 27-year-old right-hander Brennan from Rockies just before reports circled that the Mariners had traded Santana to the Indians for 35-year-old designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

What a morning.

“We were texting back and forth. Some of the groundwork had been laid and then he basically handed me the keys and said, ‘You know what I want to do roughly, just check in when you have it, but go run with it.’ ”

But they picked Brennan because, well, they need relievers. They already traded Edwin Diaz, Alex Colome, Juan Nicaio and James Pazos, while Nick Vincent, Adam Warren, Zach Duke and David Phelps have become free agents.

Brennan spent most of this past season with Double-A Birmingham, but he also appeared in four games with Triple-A Charlotte. He combined to go 5-4 with a save and a 3.25 ERA in 44 games. He limited opposing hitters to a .205 batting average and struck out 79 batters in 74 2/3 innings.

Here’s the catch – a player selected in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft has to be kept on the 25-man roster of the team that drafted him for the entirety of the following season, and the player can’t head to the disabled list for at least 90 days.

If one of those doesn’t happen, then Brennan would be sent to waivers, and the club that claims him must also keep him on the 25-man roster for the entire season. If he clears waivers, then he’d have to be offered back to the Rockies for $25,000 or they can work out a trade so the Mariners could send him to the minor leagues.

Players who signed at age 19 or older are eligible for the Rule 5 draft if they have spent at least four years in the minor leagues without being added to the 40-man roster. Players age 19 or younger are eligible for the draft if they spent at least five years in the minor leagues without being added to the 40-man roster.

From the Mariners’ system, right-hander Adonis De La Cruz was drafted by the Yankees, the Nationals selected Chuck Taylor, and the Mets took right-hander Chris Mazza.

TJ Cotterill is the Seattle Mariners and MLB writer for The News Tribune. He started covering MLB full-time in 2018, but before that covered Ken Griffey Jr.’s Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and spent seven years writing about high schools, including four as TNT’s prep sports coordinator. Born and raised in Washington.

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