Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto believes Kevin Mather misspoke when the team's former president and CEO suggested top prospect Jarred Kelenic didn't play in 2020 due to service-time manipulation.
"I'm not sure how you can construe a service-time manipulation with someone who has played 20 games over A-ball," Dipoto said Tuesday, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
Mather, who resigned Monday following his derogatory remarks, said on Feb. 5 that none of the club's top prospects were going to make the 40-man roster during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. He also added that Kelenic turned down a six-year contract offer from Seattle.
"Kelenic has played 21 games over A-ball and he's only 21 years old. He's already on an accelerated path," Dipoto said.
The 52-year-old executive also said the offer was made to Kelenic over a year ago.
Dipoto added that he's talked to Kelenic in the past about the team's development plans. The 21-year-old outfielder tweeted Tuesday night that he's looking forward to the season.
Kelenic is the No. 4-ranked prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. He's expected to make his MLB debut in 2021.