Seattle Mariners: Jerry Dipoto’s 5 Best Trades
By Ty Gonzalez
MAY 25, 2018: ACQUIRED RHP ÁLEX COLOMÉ AND OF DENARD SPAN FROM TAMPA BAY
Robinson Canó had been suspended for 80 games and Dee Gordon hit the disabled list with a toe injury, yet Seattle was 29-20 and starting to lay claim on the American League’s second Wild Card. Jerry Dipoto had to do something to keep his team in the hunt, and he did that and much more with this deal with the Rays.
While the Mariners did give up two of their better starting pitching prospects, this was more of a salary dump for the Rays than anything. Tampa has always been a forward-thinking team, encouraged by the lack of financial flexibility the team’s ownership has never provided. Seattle became the benefactors of this stance, receiving two of the best players the Rays could offer for a relatively discounted price.
Álex Colomé had been one of the MLB’s more sought-after relief pitchers on the trade market, and the M’s reaped the benefits of taking him out of his usual closer’s role and building him into a bridge to Edwin Díaz. That would have made the trade worth it enough as is, but adding Denard Span to the equation sent the value of this deal well over the moon. Span quickly became one of Seattle’s most consistent hitters, offering more pop than projected and getting on base at a .329 clip.
While Span may depart this offseason due to his $12 million club option, the boost he provided in the absence of Canó was spectacular. Colomé’s role will remain the same, once again giving Seattle one of baseball’s best one-two punches out of the bullpen.