NOVEMBER 16, 2015: ACQUIRED OF LEONYS MARTÍN FROM TEXAS
I’ll spoil it now: the Ben Gamel trade missed the cut because of this deal. Why? Because the Leonys Martín trade with the Rangers introduced us to the phenomenon of “Trader Jerry.” But not only did it do that, it also gave the Mariners fanbase a sign of changes to come, showing that not all trades end in sorrow for Seattle.
I don’t really care that things ultimately didn’t well for Martín’s time in the Pacific Northwest. Jerry Dipoto fleeced the Rangers in this deal. Martín went on to have a spectacular first half of the 2016 season, both on the field and off. He helped changed the culture of the Mariners’ clubhouse, making the life of then-rookie manager Scott Servais much easier to build a family dynamic with his roster.
The centerpiece in the package returning to Texas was Tom Wilhelmsen, a fan favorite in Seattle. After an atrocious start to the 2016 season, Wilhelmsen was quickly waived and wound up back in a Mariners uniform that June. The speed-demon outfielder James Jones found himself converted into a pitcher, which has not gone well for him, and Patrick Kivlehan has been with five different organizations since the trade.
Even with Martín’s relatively quick departure, this trade was one of the most important and successful deals of Dipoto’s tenure with the Mariners thus far.