Seattle Mariners Five Best Trades in the Jerry Dipoto Era

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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The Seattle Mariners have made a lot of trades since Jerry Dipoto became the General Manager in September of 2015. Some were good, others not so much. But today, we celebrate success, not the failures.

For most of the Mariners fans now, Jerry Dipoto is an interesting figure. Some love his aggressive style. Others use phrases like “he trades the team away”. But whether you like him or hate him, one thing that can never be said of Dipoto is that he is boring.

Today, we are going to look back at his five best trades, at least according to me. In this column, I’ll focus more on process than result, since it is too early to know what the results of certain trades will be for years. Again, this is an opinion piece, but I do think each of these trades will or have turned out favorably for the Mariners. Without further ado, let’s get started.

5. Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano for Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Gerson Bautista, Jay Bruce, and Anthony Swarzak

Yes, I am coming out strong with a controversial selection. I know many Mariners fans struggle with this trade. I also know that the reason they do is not based on logic or reason, but rather on emotion. And that is totally fine. Fans are allowed to respond emotionally, just as I am allowed to tell you this was an awesome trade from Jerry Dipoto.

Yes, the Mariners traded Edwin Diaz after an incredible 2018 season. But I’ll tell you two things he didn’t do. First, he didn’t “give away” Diaz. You see this phrasing from a lot of fans when a team makes a deal they don’t like or understand. But Diaz and Cano weren’t given away because the Mariners got assets back.

Second, the Mariners did not sacrifice any of their haul for Diaz by attaching Robinson Cano. This is a common misconception, largely because fans either can’t fathom that a team can get 100% trade value return when attaching massive contracts, or because they love Edwin Diaz and no package would have swayed them.

When you look at the prospects in the deal, the Mariners may have gotten more than anybody could have reasonably expected in Kelenic, Dunn, and Bautista. Kelenic has superstar traits. Dunn’s floor may be an elite closer with the upside of a #2 starter. Bautista has a 100 mph fastball and should have a nice career as a middle reliever.

So the Mariners added a potential superstar, a mid-rotation arm, and a young flamethrower to grow in their bullpen for Diaz, who had just 1 elite season under his belt. The Mariners gained 14 years of club control more than Diaz, who will start to earn real money after this season. Slam Dunk.

Now, you add the fact that Dipoto was able to get the Mets to eat half of Cano’s salary and still get potential trade chips Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, both of whom are off to solid starts by the way, and what is the real reason people don’t like this trade? Simply put, they love Edwin Diaz. Logic be damned.

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