FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto speaks during the Mariners annual media briefing before the start of spring training baseball. As general manager Jerry Dipoto accurately explained, the Seattle Mariners are a team stuck in the middle. They’re not in the position of rebuilding. They have enough talent and enough veterans _ with big contracts _ to be competitive. But they’re not among the elite of the American League, including the Houston Astros in their own division.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto speaks during the Mariners annual media briefing before the start of spring training baseball. As general manager Jerry Dipoto accurately explained, the Seattle Mariners are a team stuck in the middle. They’re not in the position of rebuilding. They have enough talent and enough veterans _ with big contracts _ to be competitive. But they’re not among the elite of the American League, including the Houston Astros in their own division.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) Ted S. Warren AP
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto speaks during the Mariners annual media briefing before the start of spring training baseball. As general manager Jerry Dipoto accurately explained, the Seattle Mariners are a team stuck in the middle. They’re not in the position of rebuilding. They have enough talent and enough veterans _ with big contracts _ to be competitive. But they’re not among the elite of the American League, including the Houston Astros in their own division.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) Ted S. Warren AP

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.